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'Pet food' from East Texas plant fed to prisoners

'Pet food' from East Texas plant fed to prisoners

POSTED: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - 6:30pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - 6:34pm

A settlement has been reached for a Tyler meat plant, which had meat trimmings that were "unsuitable for human consumption" inadvertently fed to Texas prisoners.

This after a 3 year old investigation.

The problem began back in 2006 and 2007, when John Soules Food, Inc. sold products known as "beef trimmings" to wholesale purchasers.

USDA investigators say that during that time, John Soules Foods had problems getting these "beef trimmings" to freeze properly. In order to prevent any risk to its customers, the company sold some boxes of the product to an independent meat broker, who had agreed to sell the product as pet food.

John Soules Foods sold the product with the understanding that it would not be used for human consumption, but did not change the labels on the packaging in order to designate the product as "pet food".

After the sale, the purchaser violated the agreement with John Soules, and sold the beef trimmings to another company to be used to human consumption, rather than pet food.

That company, in turn, sold it to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and was fed to prisoners.

According to the Department of Justice, there is no evidence that anyone who consumed the "beef trimmings" suffered any illness as a result.

A settlement with John Soules Foods was reached in July.

Under the terms of the settlement, the company will adopt additional procedures to ensure compliance with the Federal Meat Inspection Act, and the Poultry Products Inspection Act.

They will also review existing producers and records.

John Soules Foods also must pay $392,000.000. to the U.S. Treasury General Fund to resolve the investigation.

According to the settlement, the company cooperated with the investigation, and did not admit any misconduct.

The Government has agreed not to bring any further action against the company in connection to the allegedly misbranded product.

"We fully support the USDA's vigorous protection of the nation's food supply," said U.S. Attorney Bales. "This settlement agreement upholds the government's commitment to food safety while also recognizing that John Soules Foods, Inc. is a good corporate citizen with a long record of regulatory compliance and customer satisfaction."

John Soules Foods, Inc. is the leading fajita processing and marketing company in the United States and employs approximately 500 people.

 

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