Four people have been indicted for intentional processing of contaminated meat at a California slaughterhouse that resulted in an international beef recall earlier this year.
California newspaper The Press-Democrat reports Robert Singleton and Jesse Amaral, Jr., co-owners of the Rancho Feeding operation, along with employees Felix Cabrera and Eugene Corda, were listed in the federal indictment.
Press-Democrat writers Robert Digitale and Derek Moore continue:
"The indictment, which was returned last Thursday by a federal grand jury and unsealed Monday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, named Amaral, 76, of Petaluma; Rancho foreperson Felix Cabrera, 55, of Santa Rosa; and Eugene Corda, 65, of Petaluma, who was the facility’s main yard person, responsible for receiving cattle and moving them for inspection and slaughter. Singleton was charged in a separate filing.
"Amaral and Corda pleaded not guilty to the charges Monday in U.S. District Court and were released on $50,000 bond, according to court records. Singleton is scheduled to appear in court Friday. Cabrera has not yet made his initial appearance, according to prosecutors and court records."
The four are accused of circumventing USDA inspection practices by swapping remains of diseased animals with healthy animals while federal inspectors were on lunch breaks, the paper explained.
According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, 8,742,700 pounds of meat in all were recalled because Rancho "processed diseased and unsound animals and carried out these activities without the benefit or full benefit of federal inspection."
The meat was shipped to distribution centers and retail establishments nationwide, though USDA said it had received no reports of illness from the products.
For more details on the indictment, continue reading on the Press-Democrat site.