Fruitland American Meat announced Thursday that it was recalling 4,012 pounds of beef sold to a Whole Foods distribution center in Connecticut that services New England-area stores. The cuts of beef never had the dorsal root ganglia removed from them -- a potentially fatal federal health violation.
"Dorsal root ganglia, branches of the nervous system located in the vertebral column, are considered specified risk materials (SRMs) and must be removed from cattle 30 months of age and older in accordance with FSIS regulations," explained U.S. Department of Agriculture in a statement.
The dorsal root ganglia is part of the bovine's central nervous system and can be a carrier for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, better known as mad cow disease.
The products recalled were marked "Rain Crow Ranch Ribeye" or marked with establishment number 2316 inside the USDA mark of inspection. They include 40-pound cases of bone-in ribeye and quartered beef carcasses.
There have been no reported outbreaks of BSE from the recalled meat, although it can take a substantial amount of time before symptoms manifest.