Rancho Feeding Corp., the Petaluma slaughterhouse which recently recalled approximately 8.7 million pounds of beef, is now under criminal investigation for allegedly selling meat from cattle stricken with eye cancer, according to a report from The San Francisco Chronicle.
The slaughterhouse was allegedly buying cows with eye cancer and chopping off their heads in order to avoid detection from federal inspectors. In January 2014, inspectors discovered two cow heads with bovine ocular squamous cell carcinoma, also known as “cancer eye,” which often indicates cancer elsewhere in the body.
“There was no staffing shortage at Rancho Feeding; rather, it appears FSIS inspection procedures were consciously circumvented,” a source told Food Safety News.
The Petaluma slaughterhouse was also responsible for the recent recall of a few Hot Pockets flavors. So far, no related illnesses have been reported. Rancho Feeding Corp. voluntarily ceased operations earlier this year after an initial recall of more than 40 thousand pounds of meat in January.