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USDA Closes Central Valley Meat Co. Over Cleanliness Failures

California’s Central Valley Meat Co. has been indefinitely closed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for failing to meet cleanliness standards.

“FSIS withdrew our inspectors and suspended operations due to insanitary conditions at the establishment,” the agency said in an emailed statement to Food Safety News. ”The plant’s suspension will be lifted once we receive adequate assurances of corrective action.”

The USDA previously shut down Central Valley in 2012 for inhumane handling of animals after an undercover video showed alleged violations of humane slaughter laws taking place there. Central Valley employees were caught on camera torturing cattle with prods and subjecting them to other inhumane treatment.

No recall has been initiated in the latest closure, suggesting that federal authorities are not treating this as a food safety issue.

Central Valley, located 30 miles from Fresno, supplies beef to the National School Lunch Program. In 2012, Food Safety News reported that Central Valley beef had accounted for roughly 16 percent of beef purchases made by USDA during the 2010-2011 school year.

© Food Safety News
  • Foster Leaf

    Does anyone know what “failing to meet cleanliness standards” looked like? What sanitation standards did Central Valley fail to meet? Usually FSIS takes credit for such actions by identifying the underlying problem. If the historical problem at Central Valley is inhumane slaughter, why is sanitation, not inhumane slaughter, the cause of the withdrawal? Something about this story feels wrong.

  • John Munsell

    ? Perhaps FSIS is learning from its past mistakes? When FSIS removed its inspectors from Supreme Beef 15 years ago, the agency’s alleged justification was that SB had failed numerous Salmonella tests. Based solely on adverse lab results (totally divorced from actual sanitary conditions at the plant), FSISs claimed the plant was not sanitary. Evidence proved otherwise, and the appellate judge spanked FSIS. Sanitation problems are documented on FSIS daily documents, which provide a paper trail proving that the agency had communicated the existence of sanitation problems to plant management. No such documents existed at Supreme Beef. My guess is (not an accusation) that FSIS has an abundance of written documents in this current scenario at Central Valley Meat Co. Just because sanitation problems exist, does NOT create a need for a recall………just a cleanup and corrective actions which the agency deems appropriate. And it appears that this sanitation issue is not related to the previous inhumane handling issue.

  • John Munsell

    FSIS has again provided inspection services to Central Valley Meat Co this morning, Wed Feb 19, after the company successfully implemented changes in its sanitation protocol which will permanently resolve the issues raised by the agency. John Munsell

  • flameforjustice

    Glad to say I don’t eat animal flesh.

  • flameforjustice

    Must have been extremely unsanitary with whatever it was for the U.S. Dept of Agriculture to shut it down. Probably poised a ‘more then deadly’ risk for human consumption. Maybe a very toxic and/or virulent form of ‘mad cow’ disease that will show up in humans quicker and deadlier.