Beef recall indictment: A federal grand jury indicted four employees of a Northern California slaughterhouse involved in a massive recall of meat from the market, arguing that the company knowingly processed cancerous cows while U.S. livestock inspectors took lunch breaks and later distributed the diseased cattle, The Associated Press reported Monday.
Rancho Feeding Corp., based in Petaluma, ceased operations in February after a series of recalls of goods, including one for almost 9 million pounds of beef. The tainted was sold to Walmart and other national chain stores and used in products including Hot Pockets frozen sandwiches.
The Department of Agriculture alleges that Rancho processed sick animals, and evaded federal inspection regulations, AJC said in its report. In addition, the slaughterhouse allegedly bought cattle at low prices, because they suffered from symptoms of eye cancer. The cows were then decapitated and their heads were replaced with those of healthy cattle. Note, this head inspection enables you to check if the animal is infected with tapeworms and other diseases.
Jesse Amaral Jr. and Robert Singleton, co-owners of the slaughterhouse, and employees Eugene Corda and Felix Cabrera were accused of distributing adulterated meat that was mislabeled and uninspected.
Prosecutors said Cabrera and Corda were involved in the killing of animals with skin cancer on the eye under instruction of Amaral and Singleton. The beef recall indictment accuses the company of distributing 179 diseased cattle.
After the discovery of the scandal, the slaughterhouse was sold in February to Marin Sun Farms, a group of traditional farms specializing in breeding meadows and advocating sustainable agriculture. The four men face twenty years in prison and it is unknown whether the defendants have lawyers.