Feds: Slaughterhouse Swapped Heads to Fool Inspectors
4 indicted over massive recall of diseased beef
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2014 4:53 AM CDT
In this January 13, 2014 photo, cows wait to be butchered at Rancho Veal slaughterhouse in Petaluma, Calif.    (AP Photo/The Press Democrat, Conner Jay, File)

(Newser) – Workers at the Rancho Feeding Corp. were up to something pretty stomach-churning while inspectors were on their lunch break, according to a federal indictment: They slaughtered cows with eye cancer, hid the heads in gut bins, and placed the heads of healthy cows next to the carcasses. The co-owners and two employees of the northern California slaughterhouse have been indicted on charges of conspiring to distribute adulterated, misbranded, and uninspected meat, as well as mail fraud for selling some of the beef through the post, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The indictment also alleges that slaughterhouse workers were ordered to carve out the "USDA Condemned" stamps from cows condemned by inspectors and process them anyway. The disturbing allegations first surfaced earlier this year, soon after 8.7 million pounds of potentially "unsound" beef and veal products linked to the plant were recalled, affecting companies including Nestle, Walmart, and Kroger. The defendants named in the rare federal indictment face up to 20 years if found guilty. "There are very few criminal prosecutions generally in food cases, and there are very few and far between in meat cases," a food safety attorney tells KQED. "They're facing some severe jail time and some severe fines."

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Aug 25, 2014 4:04 PM CDT
Every time this happens congress comes out with a statement that every is OK, it's just one or two bad guys. The meat industry is trying to get Congress to let them police themselves. That is exactly why letting money rule the system is very bad idea.
Aug 22, 2014 12:49 AM CDT
Perhaps China has the right idea with employing the death penalty for crooked politicians and corporate offenders. If a few politicians and CEO's got executed, maybe things would get better.
Chuck Roast
Aug 20, 2014 10:50 AM CDT
Sounds like something you would hear about happening in China.....except in China the penalties are permanent.