Unwholesome Meat Recall Expanded, Products Shipped Nationwide

Federal food regulators warn that 8.7 million pounds of unwholesome and potentially contaminated meat may have been shipped nationwide, leading to the expansion of an earlier warning and indications that a number of different manufacturers may issue recalls in the coming weeks as it is confirmed that the bad meat was used in their products.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) reissued a Rancho Feeding Corporation meat products recall, indicating that the meat is diseased, unwholesome and was not inspected properly.

Originally, the recall indicated the meat was distributed to California, Florida, and Texas, but now the FSIS warns that it appears the meat was distributed nationwide and may have been contained in products made by a variety of different manufacturers.

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The original recall affected only about 42,000 pounds of meat on January 13. That recall was expanded on February 8, to include 8.7 million pounds.

“When the recall release was first issued on February 8, FSIS was unable to ascertain the extent of the establishments involved. As the establishments were notified, the list of States affected grew,” the reissued recall states. “FSIS now believes that recalled product was shipped to distribution centers and retail establishments nationwide.”

The meat was described by federal food safety officials as “unsound, unwholesome or otherwise unfit for human food,” although no injuries or illnesses have been reported in relation with the products.

The Rancho Feeding Corporation meat recall includes various meat products such as carcasses, heads, cheeks, lips, tongues, bones, feet, liver, and others produced between January 1, 2013 and January 7, 2014. The products were sold in variety of sizes including 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 pound boxes with establishment number “EST.527” on the USDA mark of inspection and case codes ending with “3” or “4”.

The FSIS announced that individual companies who have used the recalled products in their foods should begin checking their products and verifying that none of the potentially affected beef products were used.

So far, Nestle USA announced a recall of about 238,000 cases of Hot Pocket Philly Steak and Cheese sandwiches after recognizing the recalled beef products were used in the production of the sandwiches.

The FSIS recommends that consumers stop eating, processing, or handling these products immediately. Consumers with questions about the recalled beef products should contact Rancho Feeding Corporations Quality Control Manager Scott Parks at 707-762-6651 and are encouraged to report any adverse events associated with the recalled products to the FSIS at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

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