|Renowned rancher Bill Niman, pictured here on his ranch with wife Nicolette and son Miles, has several hundred thousand dollars worth of pasture-raised product tied up in the massive Rancho Feeding Corp. recall. [photo courtesy Bill Niman]|
Rancho Feeding Corp., a slaughterhouse in Petaluma, California, has suspended operations indefinitely and is recalling more than 8.7 million pounds of meat that has reached 30 states. In the words of the U.S. Department of Agriculture: The meat is “unfit for human food.” The facility has “processed diseased and unsound animals and carried out these activities without the benefit or full benefit of federal inspection.”
|Hot Pockets Facebook|
|A Hot Pockets advertisement posted on the brand's Facebook page, promoting the quality of its meat.|
“Those numbers make the USDA look good, like they're doing their part,” says Jake Dickson, a New York butcher and founder of Dickson's Farmstand Meats, who spent about six months working in a USDA-inspected slaughterhouse in upstate New York. “But the amount of meat that's recovered is a tiny fraction of what was recalled. That's the myth of these recalls.”
|A BN Ranch publicity photo.|
Bill Niman slaughters his beef in the summer, then freezes the meat for distribution throughout the year. Right now he's sitting on a pile of recalled beef, most of which has already been sold, although it remains in BN Ranch freezers.