Krave Jerky, the Sonoma maker of high-end, natural meat snacks, is the latest company to be drawn into the recall of a year's worth of meat from the Rancho Feeding Corporation slaughterhouse in Petaluma.

Krave, which makes gluten- and nitrite-free products, has issued a recall for one day's production of its garlic chili pepper jerky. The reason is the snacks included beef from Rancho, which currently is under federal investigation for processing "diseased and unsound animals" without a full inspection.

There have been no confirmed illness linked to the Rancho meat.

The Krave recall, dating back to early March, involves less than 1,000 cases, or 8,000 snack bags, said Jeremy Soine, Krave's chief operating officer. It remains a fraction of the 8 million bags of jerky that the company sold last year.

News of Krave's recall spread quickly Monday evening after the Associated Press ran a small item based upon an announcement from the Monterey County Health Department.

The department typically puts out releases when products are recalled at area retailers, but "this one has taken on a life of its own," said Karen Smith, the department's public information officer.

Some media reports incorrectly stated that the health department, not Krave, was recalling the product.

And neither the original health department announcement nor the early news reports mentioned that the recall was limited to packages with a "best before" date of Sept. 30, 2014. Soine said that amounted to a single day of production from exactly a year earlier, Sept. 30, 2013.

Krave joins a lengthy list of companies whose names have been connected to the Rancho recall. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has named more than 6,400 retail outlets around the country, from Wine Country supermarkets to national chains.

Moreover, local farmers say a USDA official from Washington told them at a meeting this month that the recall affects 44,000 establishments. The recalled products have included frozen hamburgers, taquitos and frozen Hot Pocket sandwiches.

The slaughterhouse closed Last month and has been sold to a Marin County rancher.

Krave was founded in 2010 by Jon Sebastiani, whose family formerly owned Sebastiani Vineyards and Viansa Winery. The company's jerky sales are on track to triple this year, Soine said.

The recalled jerky was produced at a plant in Salt Lake City and shipped to retailers by early November.

"There could be a few lingering bags out there," Soine said, but most of the product likely was purchased by the end of last year, before the recall was announced.

Krave learned March 5 that some meat for its jerky came from a distributor who had purchased the beef from Rancho. The company notified the state Department of Public Health and its wholesale customers within 48 hours, Soine said.

As of Tuesday morning, he said, the company had received less than five bags of recalled jerky.

[END_CREDIT_0]You can reach Staff Writer Robert Digitale at 521-5285 or robert.digitale@pressdemocrat.com.