A Bay-Area based company that promised its customers organic and sustainable cuts of meat from its own farm is suddenly closing its restaurants and butcher shops for good.
Earlier this year, Belcampo got caught up in a scandal, after one of their butchers accused the company of mislabeling their meat products.
“I’m surprised,” said Belmont resident Milena Soarez.
For years, Belcampo built a reputation for selling fresh, grass-fed meat from its farm in Mt. Shasta.
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At Belcampo’s two restaurants in Oakland and San Mateo, customers could order cuts from the butcher counter or sit-down for a meal.
The pricy meat came with promises, high quality organic meat from a vertically integrated supply chain.
“I remember a simple plate cost $30,” Soarez said.
Over the summer, Belcampo was caught up in a mislabeling scandal.
A man who claimed to be a butcher for Belcampo in Santa Monica posted a video to Instagram, accusing the company of mislabeling their meat and misleading customers.
Belcampo launched an investigation and told customers they discovered that their Santa Monica store was selling some meat products from external sources.
The company apologized to customers and said, due to the pandemic, the company had to make quick operational changes to keep up with the demand for take-out and delivery.
“What we find is that there is a real lack of verification in the industry. Most food claims are unsubstantiated today and Belcampo is just one example in misleading and fraud in food,” said Kevin Lo, CEO of Food Indepth.
Lo said testing meat products is more important than ever now, if we want to stop the next pandemic from happening.
“The next pandemic is really about the antibiotic resistant superbugs that are out there and it’s a big deal. 70% of antibiotics are used in raising animals and livestock productions,” he added.
As for Belcampo, the Oakland-based company isn’t commenting.
But officials posted a message on its website that simply said its shutting down its restaurants, butcher shops and e-commerce operations.