Wednesday, October 22nd9.4°C
23840
23778

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

22831


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14312.07-235.64
S&P CDNX808.00-14.28
DJIA16461.32-153.49
Nasdaq4382.847-36.632
S&P 5001927.11-14.17
CDN Dollar0.8886-0.0008
Gold1241.90-3.60
Oil79.80-0.33
Lumber330.40+1.70
Natural Gas3.649-0.01

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.12+0.02
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.15-0.02
Cantex0.055-0.025
Anavex Life Sciences0.198+0.006
Metalex Ventures0.05+0.005
Russel Metals32.53-0.56
Copper Mountain Mining2.10-0.07
Colorado Resources0.145-0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.013+0.001
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.05-0.01
Mission Ready Services0.405-0.055

 





FEATURED Property
1619790Loseth Road South
$180,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Keep it rubber side down

This time of year, I always worry about which friends of mine will get caught going off the road in adverse weather conditions. With a little preparation most accidents can be avoided. Having won the...


Big bank predicts rate hike

Photo: Thinkstock.comThe end of record-low rates is nigh, according to one major bank, which has taken a stance and predicted when the Bank of Canada will raise its long-standing overnight rate. &ldq...


Experts share strategies in Kelowna

The third week in October is “Small Business Week”, a week dedicated to supporting local, small businesses. The week was designed to bring awareness to Canadians about the role small busin...

_








Member of BC Press Council


22786