The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that two executives of a meatpacking plant pleaded guilty to selling 775,000 pounds of adulterated meat—”including whole cow hearts labeled as ‘ground beef'”— for more than $1 million to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The executives’ company, West Texas Provisions, falsely marketed its products as inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to DOJ; the company allegedly “kept the whole hearts offsite until inspectors left the premises, then processed the hearts on nights and weekends, when inspectors weren’t working,” and “[t]hey often kept the lights off inside the facility while processing the uninspected meat, hid uninspected meat in the freezer while inspectors were in the building, and distracted inspectors from looking at the product.” The defendants face up to five years in prison.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.