Beef Recall Investigation Reveals Company Deception

    May 4, 2014
    Chris Tepedino
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It’s a case that previously had been known for the sheer volume of the recall—millions of pounds of bad meat, retrieved from thousands of stores across the country. But CNN is now reporting that the case has a far more sinister tone.

According to an article by CNN, federal investigators began surveillance on the slaughterhouse owned by Rancho Feeding Corp. and located in Northern California, after receiving a tip from a former employee. In January, federal marshals raided the Petaluma plant and seized the company records. Days later, the first recall went out, a recall that eventually amount to 9 million pounds of bad meat.

The recall involved thousands of retail chains, including Kroger, Food 4 Less, and Walmart. It led to the voluntary recall by Nestle of its Philly Steak and Cheese flavored Hot Pockets after the company learned it had bought beef from Rancho Feeding Corp.

But according to documents obtained by CNN, supplemented by interviews with federal officials, that was just the beginning of a long investigation into the practices of Rancho Feeding Corp., an investigation that now has investigators believing that Rancho Feeding Corp. was not just shipping off meat that was “unfit for human consumption,” but that they were deliberately doing so with full knowledge and covering up the evidence to boot.

Investigators believe that Rancho Feeding Corp. was buying diseased dairy cows and processing them when government inspectors were not there. After the cows were killed, employees would hide signs of cancer by trimming off the diseased parts, using a fake stamp of approval or even replacing the heads of sick cows with heads from healthy ones.

And if that wasn’t enough, one of the government inspectors who is responsible for protecting the public from practices such as these was having a romantic relationship with the plant foreman, according to a USDA email obtained by CNN.

The inspector, Lynette Thompson, declined to be interviewed by CNN but an email with pictures of text messages from the assistant plant manager to the USDA show that the plant foreman admitted to seeing Thompson and that he had gone to her trailer three times, where they became intimate.

Thompson seemed worried about their relationship being exposed. “Play dumb please 4 my kids delete every thing k [sic].”

She had good reason to be worried. The USDA’s ethics manual states that employees should not be assigned to an establishment where they have a personal relationship with an establishment employee.

Since the recall, Rancho Feeding Corp. has been sold. The USDA has declined comment, pending an ongoing investigation.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

  • macbruum

    Homeland Security: Use war powers treat this as treason; shoot them where they stand.

  • Too Slow Jo

    There aren’t words vile enough to describe these people. Knowingly and maliciously sending out diseased meat. The rampant greed in business makes me speechless.

  • Bob Bob

    Good reason to go vegan.

    • dora krey

      Statistics show that the cattle meat industry is the primary reason for the global warming. Our planet will be extinct few decades from now. Our children will pay for it. Do you care? Do you eat cadavers? Get educated, read the book The Starch Solution by John McDougall, M.D.

  • Paul

    bad cow disease

  • Earl Chesnut

    do you folks the great reagan wanted to allow the meat processor regulate and inspect themselves man that would have turned out about like the saving and loan deal

  • Jackie B.


  • meatwad_SSuppet

    Is the Bush-2 era law restricting ranchers from certifying their product as ‘mad cow free’ still in effect? Yes it is.

  • Earl Chesnut

    you are an idiot son ronald regan wanted to allow the packer to do there own inspecting and grading but since you know nothing about the packing industry i will say no more garden city is the cattle killing killing captal of the world ibp dont need to be doing there own inspecting unless you want to get a bunch of people killed but there is only one cure for stupidity son and thats a bullet in the head so stupid know why and what you are talking about before you open your mouth

  • Jakai Lee

    We need to rethink our idea of eating animals I myself included..I think the vegan or vegetarian way maybe is the way to go…something is sending us all a very strong message that eating animals is just plain ass wrong. I am not a vegan I have always used the excuse well I was raised eating meat and I am fine well I do not think that is a good enough excuse anymore seeing this cow in this metal tank I think has to affect others as it has myself : (……. it actually brought tears to my eyes that we allow this being done to animals for our own selfish addiction to meat. Diseased meat seems like a weekly report and we just keep wanting to believe there is these secret little meat soldiers protecting us from getting this bad stuff.. well obviously not?????