Slaughterhouse Owners Allegedly Ordered Employees to Process Meat From Cancer-Stricken Cows

Ribeye <i>sans</i> cancer eye, please.
Ribeye sans cancer eye, please. Photo: Shutterstock

A federal grand jury has charged Jesse Amaral Jr. and Robert Singleton, owners of the now-defunct Rancho Feeding Corp., plus two employees, with conspiracy and fraud after they pushed diseased cattle past USDA inspectors and then sold them. The indictment alleges employees were instructed to cut the heads off diseased cows while the inspectors were out to lunch, then sneak others through the slaughterhouse by putting healthy heads on the bodies of ones that had telltale “cancer eye,” not to mention slice away those otherwise problematic “USDA Condemned” stamps. The California-based company shut down in February after it recalled some 8.7 million pounds of meat, which was used in everything from Hot Pockets to supermarket burger patties. [NYT, Food Safety News, Related]