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Food Safety News

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CA Firm Recalls Nearly 9 Million Pounds of Beef Deemed ‘Unfit for Human Food’

Third Recall of 2014

Rancho Feeding Corporation of Petaluma, CA, is recalling approximately 8,742,700 pounds of beef because it processed diseased and unsound animals and carried out these activities without the benefit or full benefit of federal inspection.

Thus, the products are adulterated, because they are unsound, unwholesome or otherwise are unfit for human food and must be removed from commerce, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced on Saturday.

The following Rancho Feeding Corporation products are subject to recall:

  • “Beef Carcasses” (wholesale and custom sales only)
  • 2 per box “Beef (Market) Heads” (retail only)
  • 4-gallons per box “Beef Blood” (wholesale only)
  • 20-lb. boxes of “Beef Oxtail”
  • 30-lb. boxes of “Beef Cheeks”
  • 30-lb. boxes of ” Beef Lips”
  • 30-lb. boxes of “Beef Omasum”
  • 30-lb. boxes of “Beef Tripas”
  • 30-lb. boxes of “Mountain Oysters”
  • 30-lb. boxes of “Sweet Breads”
  • 30- and 60-lb. boxes of “Beef Liver”
  • 30- and 60-lb. boxes of “Beef Tripe”
  • 30- and 60-lb. boxes of “Beef Tongue”
  • 30- and 60-lb. boxes of “Veal Cuts”
  • 40-lb. boxes of “Veal Bones”
  • 50-lb. boxes of “Beef Feet”
  • 50-lb. boxes of “Beef Hearts”
  • 60-lb. boxes of “Veal Trim”

Beef carcasses and boxes bear the establishment number “EST. 527” inside the USDA mark of inspection. Each box bears the case code number ending in “3” or “4.” The products were produced Jan. 1, 2013, through January 7, 2014, and shipped to distribution centers and retail establishments in California, Florida, Illinois and Texas.

On Jan. 13, 2014, Rancho Feeding Corporation recalled 41,683 pounds of meat products. On Jan. 16, that recall was expanded to include an additional 420 pounds of product that was produced without the benefit of full federal inspection, making it unfit for human food. The following Rancho Feeding Corporation products were subject to the recalls:

  • 30-lb. boxes of “Book Tripe”
  • 50-lb. boxes of “Beef Feet”
  • 20-lb. boxes of “Beef Oxtail”
  • 50-lb. boxes of “Beef Hearts”
  • 60 and 30-lb. boxes of “Beef Liver”
  • 30-lb. boxes of “Beef Cheeks”
  • 60-lb. boxes of “Beef Tripe”
  • 30-lb. boxes of “Beef Tongue”

All products bear the establishment number “EST. 527” inside the USDA mark of inspection. Each box bears the case code number “ON9O4.” The products were produced Jan. 8, 2014, and shipped to distribution centers and retail establishments in California.

© Food Safety News
  • Pam

    I certainly hope the FDA comes down hard on the Rancho feeding Corp. This company is putting people at risk of long term health issues and possibly death. It is time they are prosecuted for putting people in this position. A slap on the hand or fines are not enough. We are talking about serious health problems. Does mad cow disease come to mind?
    When are these owners and workers going to be held responsible for their actions?

    • katrina13806

      The FDA is too busy cozying up to the oil industry and the drug industry. They don’t care about the average American Citizen’s food consumption. They don’t consider our tax dollars their bread and butter any more when they are getting huge payouts from bayer, shell and Monsanto.

    • jmillion

      Fda needs to come down hard on itself. Who is the oversight committee to make sure they stay ethical etc.

    • whois

      It’s the USDA/FSIS that is responsible for meat, eggs, etc. not the FDA

    • Debbie Powers

      No wonder our meat is banned in Europe.

    • Shirley

      Just to add to the discussion. The owners should not be able to take the loss of the meat off of their taxes or to just walk off with their money and start over again some place else. For crying out loud feeding plant eating farm animals disease meat. Wonder if they fed their kids from the same beef or had some animals in a pen that was fed grains etc.

    • JJ AA

      You should find out all the facts before you so enthusiastically ring the death knell for a long established and respected, local, independently owned business.
      The above article left out a lot of facts as well as questions to consider.

  • Sunday, February 9, 2014

    California Firm Recalls Unwholesome Meat Products Produced Without
    the Benefit of Full Inspection, what about the BSE TSE prion disease ?

    >>> California Firm Recalls Unwholesome Meat Products Produced
    Without the Benefit of Full Inspection ?

    ‘’Without the Benefit of Full Inspection’’ ?

    exactly what does this mean ?

    I see this term in many recalls.

    question please, could this include _any_ breaches, that include _any_
    potential risk factors for the Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy TSE Prion
    disease when stipulated as ‘’Without the Benefit of Full Inspection’’ ?

    kind regards, terry

    Terry S. Singeltary Sr.




    Impacts The implication of these findings is that prion infection of muscle
    represents a potential source of prion transmission via either consumption of
    meat products. The prion distribution into these sites in the tongue is likely
    via centrifugal spread along motor and sensory fibers with subsequent
    transynatpic spread into muscle cells or epithelial cells, respectively. These
    findings suggest that the prion agent can use nerve fibers to spread to
    peripheral tissues. Our conclusion is also supported by in vitro studies that
    demonstrate the prion infection of muscle cells in vitro required contact with
    neuronal cell lines and not non-neuronal cells lines suggesting that a NMJ is
    required for prion infection of muscle cells. The spread of prions into skeletal
    muscle cells via nerve fibers suggest that muscle tissue, and not just nerves
    that transverse muscle, are a potential source of prion exposure upon ingestion
    of food products containing meat.



    Sunday, February 2, 2014

    The Presence of Disease-Associated Prion Protein in Skeletal Muscle of
    Cattle Infected with Classical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

    NOTE Pathology





    kind regards,


    • Dave Louthan

      One of two things happened here, Either the company was counterfeiting the USDA stamp on after hours kills or, and this is more likely, the plant inspector was not actually inspecting for what ever reason. With that amount of meat and the involvement of the Inspector Generals Office figure it was the plant bribing the inspector to pass iffy beef. Probably a vast majority was ok meat but since the USDA has no way to determine how many they do a blanket recall.

    • Dave Louthan

      PS How ya doing Terry? Still keeping up the good fight I see.

  • 14151617

    And they wanted to spread the inspectors into horse slaughter houses in the U S .
    Folks wake up let;s not have to fight that battle again.
    Get HR1094 S541 ban of slaughter and transportation to slaughter of U S equine within and out of our borders passed and into law so that tainted horse meat is never in our food supple.

    • Kristin Correll

      There are no horse slaughter plants in the US. New Mexico and MO were shut down… Thank GOD.

  • Dawn

    Which “retail establishments in California” (and elsewhere!) were distributing these beef products to the end consumer? This lack of critical information makes it exceedingly difficult for most retail consumers to determine if they are at risk.

    Also, I thought this beef was not inspected. Then I don’t understand there being a USAA mark, “establishment number “EST. 527″ inside the USDA mark of inspection”, on some products. Did USDA inspectors apply the marks erroneously, or did Rancho Feeding Corporation falsely apply these marks (a criminal offense).

    • Rod D

      Facilities, processes, procedures, and records are inspected, not necessarily every piece of the meat itself. The EST # is on the packaging. THe little purple inspected stamp on the meat is just for show. Always has been.

    • fffff

      Last week a lot of the beef at the Jack in the Box I work for was recalled. I got curious now and just looked this up, but I don’t know that any of the products that this company was selling would ever get turned into beef patties and make it to our kitchens.

  • arennis111

    Who sells this product? Is it in markets, fast food, restaurants?

  • Carley

    Was any of it distributes you Safeway grocery stores.? I just bought some….

  • Pete
  • Pete

    OMG,,, re-reading the story and “The products were processed from Jan. 1, 2013, through Jan. 7, 2014,” meaning lots of it was already eaten. So Now I really wonder why don’t they have a list of who it was sent to ? Those records should go back a year, so its not like the list is still on a truck !! Where were the inspectors, at a strip club ????

  • Oginikwe

    Please explain what diseases are involved and wth does “unsound” mean in regards to animals slaughtered? I take it to mean that they were “unsound” in that they could not walk on their own so they were downer cows.

    Gee, could the FSIS be any more opaque in their information?

    • Debbie Powers

      I’m afraid to look it up…

    • katrina13806

      What the article DOESN’T SAY is actually worse than what the article DOES SAY. What happened to the tenderloin, strip, ribs, chuck etc from the diseased cows?? Think the government has our best interests at heart? Altruism is dead, along with common sense in Washington.

      • Eileen O’Connor

        Exactly. Why are only the “offal” (“variety” and organ) meats being recalled when the whole “diseased or unsound” animal would have been slaughtered at this facility, and the muscle and bone (“steaks,” “chops” etc.) presumably shipped as well?

        • Lion4

          Could it be that the organs — stomach, liver, kidney, womb etc — could have been affected by GM feed? These would show signs of toxicity and damage much earlier than the muscle generally used in the meat markets. This is what showed up in those pig feeding trials in animals fed on GM feed. Sounds like a reasonable hypothesis to me…….

          • katrina13806


  • John Munsell

    To be fair to FSIS, let’s allow them until Tuesday to release details which answer the various questions posed by responders below. The limited info released to the media thus far would indicate that (1) FSIS may have been asleep at the wheel over one full year, and (2) the company may be guilty of horrible imfractions of agency policies. FSIS has claimed for ? 5 ? years or so now that it is open & transparent. Now is an excellent time to validate that claim. John Munsell

  • avidog

    People should just stop eating this stuff anyway. Yuck

  • Phil Blank

    Its too late now, we already ate most of it and we’ll all end up with the human form of Mad Cow!

    • Susan Price

      I was hungry.

  • DonEdiger

    How can I tell if my supermarket in Florida carries any of the boxes mentioned above?

  • Pat Bontrager-White

    No kidding !! Putting out an alert like this, and not saying where the meat was shipped to, is doing no good !!

  • Rlemmert04

    I just want to know, WHO SELLS this? Does Sams Club?

  • Kristin Correll

    Sounds like resturants. Tragic. All of it.

  • Greg Estrada

    It has been difficult to locate information regarding what retail establishments received the tainted beef. Where can the information be found? I’ve been Googling all sorts of search terms and even looked at the Ranchos website- its basically non-existent.

  • John Munsell

    First, please realize I’m an independent. Secondly, the current USDA-style of deregulated meat non-inspection has been conducted through both Republican and Democrat administrations. Both parties share blame for FSIS’ deregulated meat inspection folly, based not in “science”, but in political science & science fiction. So, please don’t use your paint brush merely on the R’s. John Munsell

  • BB

    Look for Est. 527 inside the USDA inspection legend.

  • Retail List for Recall Number: 013-2014, Various beef products

    List Current As Of: 10-Feb-14

    Retailer Name Street Address City State

    1 Brown’s Valley Market 3263 Browns Valley Rd. Napa CA-California

    2 La Morenita 2436 Jefferson Napa CA-California

    3 Vallergas Market 2139 1st St. Napa CA-California

    4 Apple Market 155 San Marin Dr. Novato CA-California

    5 Buds Meats 7750 Petaluma Hill Rd. Penngrove CA-California

    6 G & G 701 Sonoma Mtn. Pkwy Petaluma CA-California

    7 Petaluma Mkt. 210 Western Ave. Petaluma CA-California

    8 Azteca Market 802 4th St. San Rafael CA-California

    9 Carniceria Coalcoman 1415 Maple Ave. Santa Rosa CA-California

    10 Carniceria Contreras 1401 Todd Rd. Santa Rosa CA-California

    11 Carolina Wild 5380 Aero Dr. Santa Rosa CA-California

    12 G & G 1211 W. College Ave. Santa Rosa CA-California

    13 Willowside Meats 3421 Guernville Rd. Santa Rosa CA-California

    14 Sonoma Market 500 W. Napa Sonoma CA-California


    • AlzheimersAssociation

      The US Beef and dairy supply is very contaminated with BSE. I and a few of my colleges have performed multiple ELISA tests on beef spine in the last 3 years and on average about 20% come back positive. These tests were confirmed against controls and done 3 times. As a researcher in this field I can tell you that I could not publish this information without risking my career. There is a reason why the world has a ban on US beef! Its not safe! Further complicating things is the fact that human infection with BSE takes two forms, one fast acting and the other slow acting depending on genetics so some people get it and die within a few years whereas others have the same pathology as someone with alzheimers. There are so many misdiagnoses and this is in the literature.
      In my opinion this recall occurred because BSE was actually found in the Beef supply. Policy in this regard is and always has been REACTIONARY so why would this case be any different? The fact that they are not stating specifics says it all. They dont want another beef scare like there was in 2003. Since 2003 there has been BSE found many times in domestic cows in central california, most recently in a dairy cow. Testing of the beef supply is very limited however and if you want to test 100% of you cows you will go to jail. Just look at creekstone.
      Bottom line in population engineering, keep the population young by killing off the old using a latent and quiet killing method such as BSE. Save money and overhead by making the entire meat supply cannibalistic.

  • Angie

    Who eats this stuff anyways?! Sounds aweful!

  • Gene

    17,485 head of steer needlessly slaughtered.

  • Alvin Sewell

    It is difficult for me to understand how this happened. As an Inspector, I would routinely go by plants on my assignment to see if they were running out of their schedule. I did this from the very beginning of my career. I did this with large and small plants. It was simply a matter of swing by on my way home from normal travel. I did, in fact, discover plants on my assignment running outside of their schedule and without inspection. I would notify my supervisor and we’d go from there. There is something very wrong with this story. On the subject of recalling over 8 million pounds of product, good luck.

  • Jason

    My question is, where are all the “substantial” cuts of meat, ie roasts, ribs, steaks?

  • halo2442


    There’s really little need to panic. And this article links to a pdf that lists the stores that carried the meat. It’s a small, local processor that works with local producers.

  • js290
  • Jen

    One more reason to buy local grass-fed & pastured animals. I have no reason to fear, my meat was local, fed an appropriate diet, and ethically raised. I am blessed to have found and been educated by my local farmers – and now I am one – and enjoying the fruits of my labor !!

    • Plutocracy Politician

      This place processed animals from small, local producers.

  • JJ AA

    You should check the facts before posting such an alarming alert.

    #1 Operative word being “MAY” have. it MAY have processed diseased and unsound animals
    #2 No one has reported becoming sick from this meet, most of which was consumed months ago.

    And a question: why does the FDA repeatedly focus on the supposed misdeeds of the only local facility available to facilitate small farmers in processing their organic and /or grassfed beef?

  • Marie

    The human variation of Mad Cow has an incubation period of years, so if that’s what the issue is then that would explain why no one has gotten “sick” yet. Am I jumping to the worst possible conclusion? Yes, I am. But their withholding of information as to what the “disease” was and their assertion that “death” is a likely outcome of eating the products leaves me no alternative but to assume the worst here. Someone needs to prod the authorities further to divulge the information that they are currently withholding — what SPECIFICALLY is wrong with the meat and when/where was it distributed? If they can’t tell us that then the governmentt needs to issue a nationwide alert to stop eating all beef products as there may be Mad Cow disease at play.

  • Forbidden Fruit

    Can somebody PLEASE define “diseased and unsound?” Are we talking e. Coli or mad cow? Huge difference, and the paying consumers have a right to know. Sounds like there’s more to this story that’s not being reported.

  • Liz

    I live in Petaluma and I know they slaughtered animals at night. I always thought that was kind of weird. Also, my friend and I stopped there after the first recall. We went up close to some of the animals and one beautiful brown cow had a huge eye infection with pus and blood and the eyeball was protruding out of the socket, another one had a huge swollen gland under her/his cheek. It was so sad. They were standing in mud and feces up to their knees.

  • unocosmo

    Welcome to deregulation. Corruption at its finest.
    My question is, where in the world does all the recalled waste go? not just the beef but the packaging as well?