A Missouri-based producer and slaughterhouse has issued a recall for 4,012 pounds of beef carcasses and Cryovac-packed rib-eye steaks, the USDA says, because some cows were slaughtered in a way that meant their dorsal root ganglia were not completely detached. The butchering protocol was established by the FDA to reduce the risk of spreading Mad Cow Disease-causing prions that could be present in animals older than 30 months. There's no indication whatsoever that the slaughtered cows were sick with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy.
While there have been only four documented BSE cases in the United States, the risk remains. The agency has classified the current risk as "Low."
The carcasses were shipped to Kansas City; the vacuumed-packed, bone-in steaks were sent to a regional Whole Foods distribution center and an unnamed New York City restaurant. The agency tells NBC that it doesn't disclose restaurant names, but adds that the affected establishment has already "removed all of the problematic products from its inventory."