RECALL: Mad cow beef possibly sent to Mass. Whole Foods - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

RECALL: Mad cow beef possibly sent to Mass. Whole Foods

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri company has recalled possibly tainted beef products distributed to two restaurants and a grocery chain, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

Jackson-based 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, or mad cow disease, the USDA said in a release Wednesday.

BSE is fatal to cows and can cause a fatal human brain disease in people who eat tainted beef.

The USDA said there's no indication the slaughtered cattle showed signs of BSE, and so far no humans have reported symptoms of the disease.

“It’s kind of concerning I guess, considering it’s grilling season and people want to buy high quality food here,” one Medford Whole Foods customer said.

The department said the products were produced between September 2013 and April 2014 and were distributed to a restaurant in New York City, another in Kansas City, Missouri, and a Whole Foods distribution center in Connecticut.

Whole foods says they have sold the possibly tainted grass-fed ribeye at all Mass. locations except the new Hyannis store. The beef was also sold at three Conn. stores, three R.I. stores and 1 store in Maine.

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service found the possible problem while reviewing the company's slaughter logs and said the issue may have been a result of the manner that company employees determined the age of various cattle.

“We are closely monitoring this issue with one of our suppliers to ensure full compliance with the USDA’s regulations,” Whole foods said in a statement.

The dorsal root ganglia within the nervous system has to be removed from cattle that are 30 months and older but may have been present in some of the products.

There have been no reports of adverse reactions to eating the products, the USDA said. The agency characterized the recall as a Class II recall, meaning there's a "remote probability" of health problems associated with using the recalled product.

The recalled products include: quartered beef carcasses stamped with the USDA mark of inspection and establishment number "EST. 2316," and 80-pound cases containing two 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: 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.
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