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Meat from cancerous cows and the massive recall

You may wish to check out the May 3, 2014 PIX 11 article, "Cancerous cows found in massive meat recall." The article details the investigation of a Northern California slaughterhouse meat recall. The investigation focuses on meat that the U.S. Department of Agriculture called “unfit for human food” — made it out into the world and triggered a criminal investigation is one of staggering deception and cancerous cows, federal officials familiar with the investigation tell CNN.

Meat from cancerous cows and the massive recall.
Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

And the plant where it all went down was also the setting for an illicit romance, according to documents obtained by CNN. Also, you can check out the video and article, "Unfit for Human Consumption: How nearly 9 million pounds of bad meat escaped into the food supply." Or check out the original news article from March 7, 2014, "USDA: Recalled beef may have reached 35 states." Are you concerned how the meat slipped through the inspection process?

That article also noted beef recalled earlier this year from a California meat producer may have reached 35 states and Guam, the U.S. Department of Agriculture explained. Investigators now believe that the company mentioned in the May 3, 2014 news article, "Cancerous cows found in massive meat recall " was buying diseased dairy cows and processing them when government inspectors weren’t there, that article explains.

According to the article, the details of that story explained that after the cows were killed, employees would hide the warning signs of cancer by trimming off diseased parts, using a fake stamp of approval or even replacing the heads of sick cows with ones from healthy animals. It’s unclear which employees were involved, according to that article, that also notes that in a letter a day after the first recall, the USDA reported that an investigation found that the facility “shipped adulterated and misbranded product” and hadn’t inspected cattle that “were likely affected with epithelioma of the eye (eye cancer).”

If you check out the rest of the article, the plot thickens into details. The plant was sold after the recall. The article gets into details of the private lives of some persons mentioned in that article. But for those only interested in the inspection process, the big question is what happened? There have been no reports that meat from Rancho sickened anyone. The U.S. Attorney’s office in San Francisco is leading the investigation. A U.S. Attorney has decided on charges against Rancho’s owners, says the article, "Cancerous cows found in massive meat recall." For more information, please read the article. The big picture is the public is interested in public information about this type of investigation.

What does the average consumer want when meat is purchased? The consumer doesn't want any type of improperly processed meat to be certified and sold. That's the big picture. The question is what happened? Meanwhile, the investigation continues.

As far as other recalls from different companies, you may wish to check out a firm recalling a curry chicken salad for possible listeria contamination. See the May 3, 2014 news release, "027-2014 Missouri Firm Recalls Curry Chicken Salad for Possible Listeria Contamination."

Regarding the chicken salad recall, Schnucks Kitchen, an O’Fallon, Mo., establishment, is recalling approximately 130 pounds of Curry White Meat Chicken Salad product due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced May 3, 2014. The Chicken salad product, in three-pound bags, was produced on April 24, 2014, and shipped to Schnucks retail grocery locations for deli distribution in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin. The following product is subject to recall:

  • 3-lb. sealed plastic bags containing “CURRY WHITE MEAT CHICKEN SALAD WITH WALNUTS.” [View Label (PDFOnly)]

Because the products were sold at deli counters, consumer packaging may vary. Plastic containers in various sizes may bear a purchase date between April 24, 2014 and May 2, 2014. Bulk case labels or packaging may bear the case code 0989674 or 0963124 as well as establishment number “EST. P-13562” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The problem was discovered when routine product sampling by FSIS personnel tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes on April 28, 2014. This product was held by the firm and did not enter commerce. Further investigative sampling by the company later determined bulk walnuts from an outside supplier, an ingredient used in the product, may have been contaminated with the pathogen. FSIS and the company have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products. FSIS is working in partnership with the Food and Drug Administration to further investigate the source of the contamination.

Consumption of food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems.

Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers' freezers.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website.

Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at or via smartphone at Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at the FSIS Report Problem website. You also can check out the FSIS website for a phone number.

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