UPDATE: 6/13/14 17:00: Whole Foods issues statement saying none of their meat was at risk of BSE (Mad Cow Disease).
Following notification from our supplier that they were issuing a voluntary recall of rib eyes from 39 cattle shipped to us over concerns about their age, Whole Foods Market immediately launched an in-depth investigation. We now have official documentation confirming that the cattle in question destined for our stores were in fact NOT AT RISK FOR BSE as they were all UNDER 30 months of age. It is unfortunate the processor could not confirm accurate information at the time, but we fully support the issuance of the USDA Class II voluntary recall to quickly address the issue out of an abundance of caution.
BOSTON (CBS) – A recall has been announced for more than 4,000 pounds of fresh beef products, including bone-in ribeye roasts that were sold at Whole Foods stores in Massachusetts and other New England states.
The recall by Missouri-based Fruitland American Meat, is because part of the nervous system that may contain Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in infected cattle, commonly known as mad cow disease, may not have been completely removed, which is required by the U.S.D.A. in cattle 30 months of age and older.
There is no indication that any of the cattle that resulted in the recall displayed any signs of BSE, and there have been no reports of any adverse reactions. Any risk is considered low.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) reports that the products subject to 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.”
The products were produced and packaged on various dates between September 2013 and April 2014. The bone-in ribeye roasts were the source material of concern.
The bone-in ribeye roasts were distributed to a Whole Foods distribution center in Connecticut which services New England.
Whole Foods Market has issued a statement about recall and their response to the situation:
“We are closely monitoring this issue with one of our suppliers, to ensure full compliance with the USDA’s regulations and our own high quality standards for beef. The USDA is classifying this as a “remote probability of adverse health consequences,” and it applies to 34 of our 383 stores, located in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. There have been no cases of reported BSE or any other illnesses associated with this product, and no products currently in our stores are affected. We are seeking confirmation of the age of the cattle, as the USDA believes this may simply be an issue of improper documentation. Our standards mandate that all grass-fed cattle destined for Whole Foods Market be processed by the age of 28 months to mitigate the risk of BSE, which has been found only in much older cattle. The safety of our customers is a top priority and we take very seriously our commitment to providing the highest quality, most responsibly raised meat available in the marketplace.”
MORE LOCAL NEWS FROM CBS BOSTON