LONGMONT, Colo. (AP) Consumers are being warned not to eat some elk meat sold at a recent farmers’ market in Longmont.
State and Boulder County health officers issued a recall Wednesday for elk meat sold Dec. 13 at a farmers’ market at the Boulder County Fairgrounds.
The meat comes from an elk found to have chronic wasting disease from a ranch in northern Colorado. Though the disease is thought to be harmless to humans, health officials still warn against eating meat from infected animals.
Colorado epidemiologist John Pape said the meat was tested when the elk were slaughtered, but the results weren’t known until after the meat was sold.
The disease has been traced to one elk. The meat packaging shows a USDA triangle containing the number 34645.
The affected cuts are chuck roast, arm roast, flat iron, ribeye steak, New York steak, tenderloin, sirloin tip roast, medallions and ground meat.
Pape said the infected elk came from a ranch in northern Colorado and was purchased by the High Wire Ranch in Hotchkiss, which had the animal slaughtered.
Pape originally said animals at the High Wire Ranch had been quarantined, but later clarified that the quarantine was in effect at the ranch from which the High Wire bought the infected animal. He did not release the name of that ranch.
The High Wire was simply ”middle-manning” the animal and ”did everything right,” Pape said.
High Wire owner Dave Whittlesey added that the infected animal was one of 15 he purchased, and the others were disease-free.
”These animals were never on my ranch,” Whittlesey said. ”They went directly to slaughter from their ranch of origin.”
The disease has been present in the wild for decades in northeastern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming. It spread through some of the state’s elk ranches in 2001 after an operation with some infected animals shipped elk around the state.
Thousands of captive elk were slaughtered in Colorado to prevent spread of the disease.
In 2002, The disease was also found in the wild and deer and elk farms in Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, and Canada.