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Sunday, March 9, 2014 - 12:30am
EL PASO (KDBC) — A day after the USDA expanded a beef recall to include several Borderland grocery chains, some of those stores said they shouldn't be on the list.
Those local stores said they don't even buy their meat products from the distributor in question.
The USDA released a list of grocery stores in more than 30 states that they believe sold the tainted meat.
Vista Quality Market stores were on the list. Store representative, Ruben Sandoval, said the chain was completely blindsided by the nationwide recall of more than 8 million pounds of beef.
"In all of the years we have been open, we have never had an instance like this occur," he said.
The USDA said the bad meat came from Rancho Feeding Corporation in California. The problem Vista Quality Market has with the recall, the store has never carried any product from Rancho Feeding.
"It caught us completely off guard,” Sandoval said. “We have no association with them. We don't even carry their products."
When the initial recall happened in January, Hot Pocket products containing the tainted beef were pulled from store shelves around the country.
But Sandoval said Vista Quality Markets weren't affected then because they don't sell Hot Pockets.
"We received the notification for the recall,” he said. “But we didn't even have that product in our stores."
Lloyd Reeves said he heard about the latest recalls, but that didn't stop him from buying beef from Vista on Saturday because he said he trusts the store.
"It's not going to be a problem as long as you ask questions and keep yourself informed,” said Reeves. “We are here buying meat now, getting ready to grill. We come here often. No worries, I'm not worried about it or anything. I'm sure they are going to be honest with us about the products."
Sandoval said they have had several concerned customers ask about their beef, and they are doing everything they can to put worries at ease.
"They can come in if they have any questions, ask us,” said Sandoval. “We can reassure them that everything is up to our standards and hopefully theirs."
KDBC also reached out to Food City, the chain was also on the list of stores with recalled meat. A store manager there told us they don't sell meat from Rancho Feeding.
Of the two Las Cruces stores that made the list, the Save Mart said they haven't received any of the recalled meat, either.