FDA expands recall of tainted beef products
(CNN) — Tainted beef recalled earlier this year from a California meat producer may have reached reached 35 states and Guam — not just six states as previously believed, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday.
Thousands of retailers have been added to a list of companies that received beef products from the company, Rancho Feeding Corp., the USDA said.
The recall began in January with about 40,000 pounds and was expanded in February to 8.7 million pounds. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said the Petaluma, California-based company recalled the meat because it came from “diseased and unsound” animals that weren’t properly inspected.
“Thus, the products are adulterated, because they are unsound, unwholesome or otherwise are unfit for human food and must be removed from commerce,” the government agency reported in February.
As of February 14, USDA had not received any reports of illness because of Rancho meat. But the agency called it a “Class I recall,” meaning it is a “health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.”
The wide range of products subject to recall included 30-pound boxes of beef lips, mountain oysters and sweetbreads, as well as 40-pound boxes of veal bones and 60-pound boxes of veal trim.
The recalled products were produced and shipped between January 1, 2013, and January 7, 2014. The USDA mark of inspection on them has “EST. 527” and their case code number ends in 3 or 4.
After Rancho Feeding Corp. made the recall, Nestle USA issued a voluntary recall in February of some types of Hot Pockets.
Nestle said it had determined that “a small quantity of meat from Rancho was used at Nestle’s Chatsworth, California, production operation,” which is devoted entirely to Hot Pockets sandwiches.
The affected Hot Pockets products were the two-pack box of Croissant Crust Philly Steak and Cheese, and three different pack sizes of Philly Steak and Cheese.
Editor’s note: The updated recall now involves various beef products distributed to hundreds of stores across the U.S., including Food 4 Less and Kroger stores in Illinois. The list of affected stores includes hundreds of smaller grocery retailers in at least 35 states.
CNN’s Shannon Travis, Greg Botelho, Janet DiGiacomo, Ed Payne and Chandler Friedman contributed to this report.