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Minnesota added to states affected by nationwide beef recall

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Nearly 9 million pounds of beef products in at least 45 states, including now Minnesota, were recalled because federal regulators said a northern California slaughterhouse processed "diseased and unsound" animals without full federal inspection, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The USDA has not received reports of any illnesses stemming from this recall, Food Safety News says.

The USDA says the Rancho Feeding Corp. slaughterhouse produced products that are "adulterated, because they are unsound, unwholesome or otherwise are unfit for human food."

"The retail list has been growing as more customers have been notified," USDA spokesman Adam Tarr told CNN. "The list could expand."

On Friday, 55 Minnesota retailers – many of them convenience stores or small supermarkets – were added to the list of affected retailers, the Star Tribune reports. The retailers may have received meat or processed products from Rancho Feeding, the USDA says. Read the full list of affected retailers, which totals over 5,000, here.

"Various beef products" that were likely used in a multitude of processed foods are connected to the Rancho recall, according to the USDA. The recall involves beef produced from Jan. 1, 2013 through Jan. 7, 2014.

Nestle voluntarily recalled certain types of Hot Pockets last month because it contained a small amount of the recalled meat. None were sold in Minnesota, according to the Star Tribune. Twin-Cities based Target and SuperValu also sold recalled products, but not at any Minnesota stores, the newspaper reports.

The Star Tribune reports it is likely most of the recalled products have already been removed from stores or consumed.

Rancho Feeding is being probed for criminal wrongdoing by the USDA’s inspector general, according to media reports.

“It’s a little bizarre,” said Ryan Osterholm, a food safety attorney at Pritzker Olsen in Minneapolis, told the Star Tribune. “ ‘Diseased and unsound animals’ isn’t common language in recalls,” he said. “The USDA is saying ‘this is not OK,’ and they are throwing the book at them.”

The Los Angeles Times is reporting the slaughterhouse used cows with eye cancer, a development not necessarily linked to any criminal or regulatory investigation, the Star Tribune says.

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