PETALUMA (KPIX 5) — A Petaluma slaughterhouse has voluntarily ceased operations amid a growing beef recall.
The recall, which began January 13, was initially restricted to meat processed on a single day, but expanded Saturday to include all 8.7 million pounds of meat processed in 2013.
Rancho Feeding Corp. owner Robert Singleton told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat on Monday that the company undertook the recall out of “an abundance of caution.”
Singleton also confirmed that the company had voluntarily ceased processing, and was compiling a list of companies affected by the recall, but declined further comment.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has said the facility processed diseased and unhealthy animals without a full federal inspection.
Meanwhile, cattle ranchers who use the facility are very worried about the future of their businesses.
Tara Faye Smith, co-founder of Tara Firma Farms in Petaluma, grows grass-fed beef and said she’s very worried.
“It’ll shut us down. Without Rancho we’re done and that’s five years, seven days a week, just now profitable. I’m horrified,” she said.
Smith claimed she already lost $8,000 because cattle recently shipped to Rancho was destroyed and she said she can’t afford to send cows to plants in Modesto or Eureka.
Workers at the Rancho Plant said they were worried about their jobs.