(CNN) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday that it's investigating "personnel issues" at a California slaughterhouse after an exclusive CNN investigation detailed how officials believe Rancho Feeding Corporation triggered one of the biggest meat recalls in years.
Federal investigators believe that Rancho processed cancerous cows when government inspectors weren't there, triggering a massive recall of nearly 9 million pounds of meat and a criminal investigation, according to sources familiar with the probe.
And in the plant where it all went down, a government inspector and a Rancho foreman were involved in an inappropriate romance, according to documents obtained by CNN.
A USDA spokesman told CNN the department "is conducting a thorough investigation into personnel issues related to this case. We are not permitted to discuss the details of the case at this time as doing so could jeopardize the ongoing investigation."