Jack in the Box and other fast-food restaurants were not included in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s list of retailers who might have received recalled beef from Rancho Feeding Corp. in Petaluma, CA.
The retail list for the Rancho recall is one of the longest ever, with more than 5,800 stores. But it turns out that even restaurants that make direct purchases from establishments involved in the recall are excluded from the retail list.
Dr. Richard Raymond, USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety during President George W. Bush’s second term, was head of FSIS when the agency began releasing retail lists. Raymond said that when he sent the regulation permitting FSIS to issue retail lists over to the Office of Management and Budget for its approval, restaurants were dropped.
An independent grinder who supplies Jack in the Box and other fast-food outlets with beef patties reportedly purchased lean beef from Rancho. Food Safety News offered Jack in the Box the opportunity to comment on their indirect purchases of the Rancho beef, but they chose not to respond.
However, the Press Democrat newspaper in Santa Rosa, CA, on Wednesday confirmed that Jack in the Box was at least an indirect Rancho customer from Scott Parks, who was a manager at the slaughterhouse, and from prominent food-safety consultant Dave Theno. Parks made the claim in a letter to USDA protesting an inhumane handling violation that he said could hurt Rancho with a major customer — Jack in the Box.
Theno confirmed that Jack in the Box was caught up the Rancho recall. Most of the recalled beef was probably consumed. Rancho suspended operations in February after USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) found the slaughterhouse had processed “diseased and unsound animals” and did so “without the benefit or full benefit of federal inspection.” Rancho was forced to recall the past year’s worth of beef production, some 8.7 million pounds.
A fairly new FSIS public service during recalls is to go public with lists of retailers who likely received recalled meat.© Food Safety News