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Whole Foods Beef Recalled for “Remote” Mad Cow Disease Risk

Whole Foods Beef Recalled for “Remote” Mad Cow Disease Risk

June 13, 2014 — Dozens of Whole Foods in the Northeast have recalled certain beef products over concern about a “remote” risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or Mad Cow Disease.

There have been no reports of illness linked to the beef. Federal safety officials called the chances “remote,” and designated the recall a Class II with a “low” health risk.

The producer, Fruitland American Meat of Jackson, Missouri, has recalled about 4,000 pounds of bone-in, grass-fed rib eye steaks and two quartered beef carcasses. Products were distributed in northern Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island and sold at 34 Whole Foods stores.

Problems were discovered when inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) reviewed company logs and found that they were improperly recording the age of the cattle. The recall was initiated because the producer did not remove the basal root ganglia.

For cattle who are 30 months or older, the FSIS requires that the basal root ganglia (part of the spinal cord) must be removed. Transmission of BSE occurs when people eat the brain, spinal cord, or digestive tract of infected cows. The slaughtered cows showed no symptoms of BSE.

Products involved in the recall include:

  • 40-lb. cases containing two, roughly 20-lb. cryovac packages of bone-in “Rain Crow Ranch Ribeye” bearing the establishment number “EST. 2316” inside the USDA mark of inspection with the following production dates: 9/5/13, 9/10/13, 9/11/13, 9/26/13, 10/2/13, 10/3/2013, 11/8/13, 11/22/13, 12/17/13, 12/26/13, 12/27/13,1/16/14, 1/17/14, 1/23/14, 1/31/14, 2/13/14, 2/14/14, 2/21/14, 2/28/14, 3/8/14, 3/20/14, 4/4/14 or 4/25/14 printed on the box. 
  • Quartered beef carcasses stamped with the USDA mark of inspection and establishment number “EST. 2316.”

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