The USDA is currently investigating a disturbing case of mishandled raw meat delivered in shopping carts to 99 Ranch Market in San Jose, California.
Local shopper Loretta Seto was on a routine shopping trip to the grocery store, located at Hostetter Road and Lundy Avenue, when she spotted two delivery men transporting raw meat in Costco shopping carts at the front entrance. Suspicious and alarmed, Seto immediately snapped a photo and posted the incident to Facebook as a warning to other local shoppers.
Seto told NBC Bay Area that the two men appeared to have dumped slabs of raw pork in the grocery carts where they could go down aisles touching other products. "I don't know," Seto said. "It was absolutely horrific in my opinion."
Another customer, Christine Cabral, discovered a similar sight in March 2016 -- uncovered butchered hogs being rolled in shopping carts through the back doors of the Marina grocery store. Cabral took the same action as Seto and snapped a photo.
Now, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service is working with local authorities after the Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health launched an investigation into the San Jose grocery store.
The USDA said in a statement that it will be conducting a thorough inspection of the facility, interviewing personnel and reviewing paperwork to determine if further actions will be needed.
NBC Bay Area looked into county inspection reports for 99 Ranch Market and found cases of "major risk factors and violations" in the meat department noted by a health inspector on Jan. 8. "Improper hand washing, food debris in the meat slicers and grinders and dirty meat trays" were highlighted by the food inspection official.
Records also showed an inspector noted live cockroaches in the meat preparation area.
Seto's Facebook post continues to garner attention with over 2,000 shares and hundreds of comments. The grocery store has even responded to Seto's post directly stating that the market intends to resolve the issue by filing a complaint against the vendor, Jim's Farm Meat. 99 Ranch market said in an interview with NBC Bay Area that it has discarded all the meat from the vendor.