Slaughterhouse Owner Pleads Guilty in Tainted Beef Case

Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that Jesse Amaral Jr., owner of the defunct Rancho Feeding Corp. based in Petaluma, California, admitted guilt to distributing adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat. Amaral is the third person to plead guilty in the conspiracy that sparked beef recalls.

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A co-owner of a Northern California slaughterhouse at the center of a massive recall has pleaded guilty to processing cattle with cancer for consumption.

Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that Jesse Amaral Jr., owner of the defunct Rancho Feeding Corp., acknowledged distributing adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat.

He's the third person to plead guilty in the conspiracy that sparked a series of recalls, including one for 8.7 million pounds of beef.

Prosecutors say that for two years, Amaral instructed employees at the slaughterhouse north of San Francisco to process cattle that U.S. Department of Food and Agriculture veterinarians rejected for having cancerous eyes.

A co-owner pleaded guilty last year, saying he had employees swap the heads of diseased cattle for healthy ones.

Amaral's attorney couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

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