Calif. Meat Plant Cited for Humane Violations

Records show a California beef processor that recalled tons of hamburger meat due to salmonella fears was slapped with humane handling violations in a government review of meatpacking plants last year.

At least 28 people in three Western states have reported salmonella-related illnesses since Fresno-based Beef Packers Inc. recalled nearly 826,000 pounds of ground beef on Thursday.

U.S. Department of Agriculture auditors visited there in March 2008. Inspection records show some cattle there were being electrically stunned and rendered unconscious so they could be pulled through an area inside the slaughterhouse.

Some experts say dragging unconscious cattle could increase the risk of bacteriological contamination.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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