Food Safety News will report in the morning that the retail list for the Rancho Feeding Corporation recall of nearly 9,000,000 pounds of meat is one of the longest ever, with more than 5,800 stores.
However, what is truly stunning is the report that a Bush administration decision (continued under the Obama administration) thwarts transparency in where recalled product was ultimately sold and consumed. According to Food Safety News, it turns out that restaurants that make direct purchases from establishments involved in the recall are excluded from the retail recall list.
According to Food Safety News, Dr. Richard Raymond, USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety during President George W. Bush’s second term, was head of FSIS when the agency began releasing retail recall lists. Raymond said that when he sent the regulation permitting FSIS to issue retail lists over to the Office of Management and Budget for its approval, restaurants were dropped.
Who else received Rancho Feeding Corporation’s recalled meat? Why are restaurants excluded? What other establishments are excluded? The School Lunch Program? Hospitals?
Looking back over the last several years of recalls, how often were the names of restaurants and others excluded from publication?