California Slaughterhouse Co-Owner Pleads Guilty To Processing Cattle With Cancer

The co-owner of a now defunct California slaughterhouse at the center of a February 2014 recall that involved 8.7 million pounds of beef found “unfit for human food” has pleaded guilty in the federal case, acknowledging that he processed cancerous cattle.

He’s the last defendant of four in the case against Rancho Feeding Corp. to plead guilty after federal prosecutors indicted him, another owner and two employees of the company last August. At that time, prosecutors said one of the methods the owners used for tricking food safety inspectors was to switch out unhealthy, cancer riddled cattle heads with healthy ones while the inspectors were at lunch.

According to the Associated Press, federal prosecutors said the co-owner acknowledged distributing adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat.

Prosecutors said that he told employees at the slaughterhouse to process cattle that U.S. Department of Food and Agriculture veterinarians had rejected for having cancerous eyes.

The charge carries a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine and a $100 special assessment, reports KQED News. He’s scheduled to be sentenced July 1.

Slaughterhouse owner pleads guilty in tainted beef case [Associated Press]
Final Defendant Pleads Guilty in Petaluma Slaughterhouse Case [KQED]

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