Wednesday, September 2nd10.3°C
26775
26758

Officials at California slaughterhouse behind massive beef recall indicted on criminal charges

SAN FRANCISCO - A Northern California slaughterhouse involved in a massive beef recall processed cows with cancer while U.S. livestock inspectors took lunch breaks and later distributed the diseased cattle, according to federal charges announced Monday.

Prosecutors alleged that the owners of Petaluma-based Rancho Feeding Corp. schemed with employees to slaughter about 79 cows with skin cancer of the eye rather than stopping plant operations during inspector lunch breaks. Then, the government alleges, plant workers swapped the heads of diseased cattle with heads of healthy cows to hide them from inspectors.

Rancho operations were halted in February after a series of recalls, including one for 8.7 million pounds of beef. The meat was sold at Walmart and other national chains and used in products, including Hot Pockets.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has said Rancho processed diseased and unhealthy animals and circumvented federal inspection rules.

Slaughterhouse co-owners Jesse Amaral Jr. and Robert Singleton and employees Eugene Corda and Felix Cabrera were charged with distribution of adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat.

Prosecutors said Cabrera and Corda were among those involved in slaughter of cows with skin cancer of the eye at Amaral and Singleton's instructions and concealing the disease from USDA inspectors, resulting in distribution of about 79 diseased cattle that did not undergo full inspection.

Cabrera, based on instructions from Amaral, also directed Rancho employees to carve stamps condemning cattle out of carcasses and to process them for transport and sale, prosecutors said. The indictment accused the company of distributing 101 of these carcasses.

The defendants and their attorney could not be immediately reached for comment Monday.

There have been no reports of illnesses linked to the products, which were processed from Jan. 1, 2013, through Jan. 7, 2014, and shipped to distribution centres and retail stores in California, Florida, Illinois and Texas.

More than 1,600 food distributors in the United States and Canada were alerted to the recall that asked consumers to return products, including beef jerky, taquitos, hamburger patties and Hot Pockets frozen sandwiches.

In March, the USDA allowed another Northern California company, Marin Sun Farms, to take over the shuttered Rancho slaughterhouse.

___

Associated Press Writer Terry Collins contributed to this story.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News




Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX13545.25+63.35
S&P CDNX550.05+2.08
DJIA16351.38+293.03
Nasdaq4749.98+113.87
S&P 5001948.86+35.01
CDN Dollar0.7542+0.0005
Gold1132.00-0.50
Oil46.16-0.09
Lumber235.10+1.10
Natural Gas2.644-0.004

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.22+0.05
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.19+0.01
Cantex0.04-0.01
Anavex Life Sciences1.25-0.07
Metalex Ventures0.055+0.005
Russel Metals20.87-0.34
Copper Mountain Mining0.61-0.01
Colorado Resources0.075-0.010
ReliaBrand Inc0.0045+0.0005
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.02+0.00
Mission Ready Services0.08-0.01
Decisive Dividend Corp2.62+0.12

 



27509

FEATURED Property
23441406239 Renfrew Road
7 bedrooms 10 baths
$1,149,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Agree to ask questions

Photo: Thinkstock.comThe STORY: I think, said Janet to herself, that I just figured out a solution to my problem of letting the prospect run the meeting.With that thought in mind, she got out of her c...


Your business is not a bank

Photo: Thinkstock.comYour plumbing business is not a bank. But when you are giving terms to customers that exceed what you get from your suppliers, you become one. And every time that someone does not...


Begin with the end in mind

Photo: ContributedWe humans love our dates: birthdays, anniversaries, 9/11, the Ides of March - our lives are intimately woven within the tapestry of the calendar. So it should come as no surprise whe...

_








Member of BC Press Council


25143