Rancho Feeding Corporation of Petaluma, California, was forced to recall 8.7 million pounds of beef this past weekend due to improper inspection. And of course, some of the meat in the recall made its way to Texas, because it's not like we have a gazillion of our own cows here or anything.
The United States Department of Agriculture issued a press release on February 8 that listed the health risk as "high," but it took a few days for details about where the recalled meat had been shipped to surface. According to the press release, Rancho Feeding Corporation "processed diseased and unsound animals and carried out these activities without the benefit or full benefit of federal inspection."
The questionable beef carcasses and boxes of beef were shipped to distribution centers and retail establishments elsewhere in California and in Florida, Illinois and Texas. All of the recalled meat is labeled "EST. 527" inside the USDA mark of inspection and a case code number ending in 3 or 4, so, you know, look for that if you happen to have purchased a box of beef in the recent past.
Thus far, there have been no illnesses reported as a result of contaminated beef, and neither Rancho Feeding Corporation nor the USDA have noted where the beef ended up specifically. The company had closed voluntarily as a result of the recall, and it's working on determining where the meat was sold so far.
In California, the recalled beef made its way to meat markets that cater primarily to Latino customers. No word yet on where the funky meat might be lurking in the Lone Star State.
Before you tuck this tidbit away as a future trivia answer (the question being, of course, What is the largest meat recall ever?), note that 9 million pounds of beef is far from the largest recall on record. In 2008, Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company, also out of California, was forced to recall 143 million pounds of raw and frozen beef products. It was forced to declare bankruptcy as a result.
The more you know, right?
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