Beef Recall Widens: Cancer Stricken Cows Processed
The scope and the repercussions from the massive recall of nearly nine million pounds of beef from Petaluma, California-based Rancho Feeding Corp. continue to spread, affecting businesses in 35 states and the territory of Guam.
Since the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the recall on Feb. 8, the list of retailers that have been affected by the recall has grown to nearly 6,400 establishments. The problem is so widespread, even Canadian health officials are currently conducting recall efforts in at least five provinces.
Among the most prominent regional and national that have been affected are supermarkets, such as Kroger, Walmart, Safeway and Albertsons, drug store chains such as Walgreens and Rite Aid, and the 7-Eleven and Circle K convenience store chains. Besides the massive recall of Hot Pockets that was announced recently, the recall also includes such products as frozen taquitos and hamburger patties.
According to a Jan. 14 suspension letter, which was released recently, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) investigation that revealed that Rancho Feeding had sold cattle “likely affected with epithelioma of the eye.” Epithelioma is a type of cancer. Inspectors discovered that at least two cattle heads with cancer had made it to market, even though they did not have the USDA’s mark of condemnation, indicating that they had not been inspected. That mark would have prevented them from being sold. Inspectors also noted that the lymph nodes were still intact, which inspectors would normally have dissected. It is against federal law to sell diseased animals for human consumption.
That January suspension was just the first action taken against Rancho Feeding, and affected a little over 40,000 pounds of beef. But on Feb. 8, the recall was expanded to cover 8.7 million pounds of beef, or an entire year’s worth of processed beef.
So far, there have been no reported illnesses linked to the beef, and some food safety experts have stated that people who ear the beef are unlikely to get sick. But no one knows, really, which is why the USDA is being aggressive in its investigation, to the point that they’ve even launched a criminal investigation into the company.
If you or a family member have contracted a food borne illness after having eaten beef or any other possibly contaminated food, please contact the experienced Texas Food Poisoning Injury Lawyer at Hill Law Firm as soon as you can, to preserve evidence and protect your rights under the law.