Johnston slaughterhouse admits to violating federal meat inspection law
PROVIDENCE — A Johnston-based beef slaughterhouse admitted in federal court Thursday that it defrauded customers over falsified meat inspections in 2019.
Rhode Island Beef and Veal and one of its owners, Michael A. Quattrucci, pleaded guilty to charges of defrauding customers by claiming that beef had been inspected under the Federal Meat Inspection Act.
The meat was never inspected but was stamped with an unauthorized official U.S. Secretary of Agriculture inspection mark, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service suspended Rhode Island Beef and Veal and withdrew its inspector on Aug. 20, 2019. Eight days later, prosecutors said a USDA supervisor visited the plant and found employees packing various cuts of meat and applying USDA marks of inspections to the meat with no inspector present.
Additionally there was packaged meat with USDA stickers stored in five bins, prosecutors said.
The next day, a USDA investigator noted 224 pounds of unmarked ground beef and a 594-pound half-carcass of beef that had been freshly cut into primal parts for delivery to a customer in Connecticut who supplies meat products to restaurants.
Quattrucci is scheduled to be sentenced on July 26, while Rhode Island Beef and Veal is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 7.