Three days after the a massive recall of nearly 9 million pounds of beef products, federal agriculture officials have released a preliminary list that shows that many retail stores that bought the products are Latino meat markets in Northern California.
Rancho Feeding Corp. of Petaluma, Calif., on Saturday announced a recall of 8.7 million pounds of beef products made at its plant over the past year and sold in four states, including California. They included whole carcasses, beef tongue, head, tripe and oxtail -- cuts of meat widely used in Latino cuisine. (A full listing of affected products can be found here.)
The plant's quality control manager on Monday confirmed the facility has been voluntarily closed as the recall continues and as the company compiles a full list of customers to whom it sold the meat.
Of the 14 retail stores on the list released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service, at least five of the meat markets cater to Latino customers. The "carnicerias," as they're called in Spanish, are located in Santa Rosa, San Rafael and Napa. Other stores appear to be specialty meat stores.
Phone numbers listed for two of the stores did not seem to be connected. At a third store, a manager was unavailable to speak with a reporter.
Federal regulators said that the plant "processed diseased and unsound animals" without a full federal inspection. As a result, the agency said, the "products are ... unsound, unwholesome or otherwise are unfit for human food and must be removed from commerce."
There have been no reported illnesses linked to the beef products in question, the company and the USDA said.
In a statement, Scott Parks, the plant's quality control manager, said the plant enacted the recall "out of an abundance of caution" and that the company regrets the inconvenience to its customers.
The company last month issued a recall of nearly 42,000 pounds of beef products because they did not have a full federal inspection.