Petaluma's Rancho Feeding Corporation, the only slaughterhouse in the Bay Area, recalled an estimated 8.7 million pounds of contaminated beef on Feb. 8, 2014. All the meat included in the recall was put out within the last year, including hamburgers from Walmart and two flavors of Nestlé Hot Pockets (three different sizes of Philly Steak and Cheese and the two-pack Croissant Crust Philly Steak and Cheese).
All of the recalled beef was from cows who are reportedly infected with ocular squamous cell carcinoma, or cancer eye, the most common type of cancer among cattle. According
to SFGate, Rancho apparently bought a bunch of cows with eye cancer and
beheaded them so that inspectors wouldn't know the cattle were infected and would give them the okay to sell the meat.
Although nobody has reported becoming sick from eating the meat yet, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is saying the meat is definitely "unfit for human food."
Since the recall, Rancho has been shut down and is currently being investigated.
Marin Sun Farms, a popular sustainable farm that produces only grass-fed beef, has decided to purchase Rancho, putting a stop to the releasing of contaminated meats. According to SF Gate, MSF founder and chief executive David Evans plans to hire many of Rancho's previous employees.
"I'm not concerned about what had happened there in the past," Evans told SF Gate. "We just want to get this back in operation in really good form, putting out really high-quality animals for the Bay Area market."
Marin Sun Farm will not be taking Rancho Feeding Corporation's name once the purchase is finalized*, and won't be producing any more cancer burgers under its new management.
*A previous version of this article said that Marin Sun Farms would be assuming the Rancho Feeding Corporation name. It only purchased the buildings and land, and will operate under its own name. It also incorrectly mentioned Rancho Gordo when it meant Rancho Feeding. SF Weekly regrets the errors.