A California meat company is at the center of a local scandal after photos emerged of two men improperly handling a shipment of pork to a supermarket.
According to the Modesto Bee, a shopper at the 99 Ranch Market in San Jose captured images of the Jim’s Farm Meat employees loading raw, uncovered meat into the store’s entrance in shopping carts.
The photos, along with her Facebook warning, have been shared thousands of times since Loretta Seto posted them Thursday.
“We were at the 99 Ranch Market across from this Costco and saw their vendors delivering meat with Costco shopping carts!!” she wrote. “Talk about disgusting! I’m usually okay with sticking the kids in the seat of the basket, but this is a whole new level of gross. Beware.”
The Winton-based meat company confirmed it learned of its employees’ behavior on Friday and is looking into what went wrong.
“We are thoroughly investigating the incident,” Jim’s Farm Meat office manager Maria Moon said.
She said she did not know why or how the employees arrived at the store with the meat unwrapped, suggesting it might have been a request by the store.
“This isn’t anything we typically do,” Moon said. “When we send our products out, they are always in a combo bin and wrapped. That’s how it left our facility.”
Both employees pictured in Seto’s post have been fired, she added.
All of the meat involved was thrown out, the 99 Ranch Market confirmed, adding that it would be filing a complaint against the meat company.
“On behalf of 99 Ranch Market, we are terribly sorry for this incident that happened in one of our stores,” a company statement read. “99 Ranch Market is committed to food safety and customer satisfaction. Therefore, we are taking the necessary steps to resolve this issue by investigating this case further and filing a complaint against our vendor. We appreciate you bringing this to our attention. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”
As the San Jose Mercury-News reported, the Department of Environmental Health confirmed it has launched a probe into the complaints.
“We are taking immediate steps to conduct a thorough investigation and appropriate actions to ensure food safety for the public,” the agency said. “Other regulatory and oversight agencies, including those at the federal and state level, shall be notified as appropriate.”
While it is too early to tell whether the concerns will have a lasting impact on either business, the woman who witnessed the unsanitary delivery said her mind is already made up.
Regardless of the results of an investigation, Seto said she will still be buying certain items from 99 Ranch Market, “but definitely not their meats.”
She also felt the grocery store’s “apology wasn’t strong enough to address the issue.”
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