In-N-Out, the Southern California burger restaurant chain, said it has severed its ties with a Central Valley slaughterhouse shut down by the USDA, which is investigating whether beef from sick cattle entered the human food supply.
The fast food chain bought beef from the Central Valley Meat Co. of Hanford, Calif., until the U.S. Department of Agriculture closed the plant Monday after receiving a video authorities said showed inhumane treatment.
The USDA says it's investigating.
"As soon as we became aware of the allegations regarding Central Valley Meat Company and their handling of cattle, we immediately severed our supplier relationship with them," said In-N-Out Chief Operating Officer Mark Taylor in a statement. "In-N-Out Burger would never condone the inhumane treatment of animals and all of our suppliers must agree to abide by our strict standards for the humane treatment of cattle."
The Hanford plant was "one of several companies" that supplied chuck meat for hamburger patties, Taylor said, adding that In-N-Out conducts unannounced inspections of suppliers to ensure complaince with the fast-food chain's requirements.
An In-N-Out spokesman stressed that the chain was only one among several customers of Central Valley Meat Co., saying the restaurant chain bought 6 to 7 percent of the plant's output.
The video (below) shot by animal advocacy group Compassion Over Killing shows animals being shot, shocked and kicked to get them to slaughter.
Warning: This video contains graphic material