A Missouri meat company is recalling possibly tainted meat that was sent to a Whole Foods distribution center in Connecticut that supplies its stores in New England.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a news release on Wednesday that Fruitland American Meat is recalling about 4,012 pounds of beef because it could contain parts of the nervous system that can carry properties related to bovine spongiform encephalopathy, more commonly known as mad cow disease.
Mad cow disease is fatal to cows and can cause a fatal human brain disease in people who eat tainted beef, but there's no indication that the slaughtered cattle showed signs of BSE.
The USDA said all of the cows received a full inspection both before and after they were slaughtered.
The meat affected by the recall includes bone-in ribeye roasts that were sent to a restaurant in New York City and Whole Foods stores in New England.
A statement from Whole Foods said this applies to 34 of the company's 383 stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine.
The company is also recalling some beef sent to Missouri and a restaurant in Kansas City.
There have been no reports of anyone becoming ill, but anyone concerned should contact a doctor, according to the USDA.
On Thursday, Whole Foods released a statement about the recall:
"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."
The following products are included in the recall:
Forty-pound 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 printed on the box:
The products were produced and packaged between September 2013 and April 2014. They
would have been processed into smaller cuts with no identifying consumer packaging.