Four people from the slaughterhouse at the center of a massive beef recall in February have been indicted for purposely allowing diseased cattle into its processed meat and misleading health inspectors.
Federal prosecutors on Monday this week claimed the owners of Rancho Feeding Corp., a Northern California beef processing plant, schemed with employees to butcher about 79 cows with skin cancer of the eye rather than stopping plant operations during inspector lunch breaks. The government also said that plant workers swapped the heads of diseased cattle with heads of healthy cows to hide them from inspectors.
The company’s co-owners, Jesse Amaral, Jr. and Robert Singleton, were indicted, along with yardman Eugene Corda and foreman Felix Cabrera. Amaral and the two employees were charged with 11 felony counts, including distribution of adulterated and misbranded meat, mail fraud and conspiracy. Singleton was charged with only one count of distributing adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat.