The owner of Yauk’s Specialty Meats in Windsor apologized to his customers and other businesses that purchased meat from him after the business had to recall about 90,000 pounds of various meat and poultry products that were produced under unsanitary conditions.
According to a news release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), it began a food safety assessment at the plant Dec. 5 and discovered that product was being produced under unsanitary conditions, including rodent activity in the production, storage and retail areas of the property, which is located at 208 Main St. in downtown Windsor.
“I just didn’t want this situation to get this far out of hand, but there have been issues that have distracted me in doing the business,” owner Wayne Yauk said Tuesday. “I can’t say how sorry I am that this has happened, and that this got this far. I feel sorry for all of the customers that I’ve been making products for, especially the ones that resold the product to other places.”
The FSIS and Yauk’s Specialty Meats have received no reports of illness due to consumption of these products. The FSIS says anyone concerned about an illness should contact a health care provider. The recall is in the Class 1 category (health risk high) where, according to the USDA, it’s a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.
“I knew there was a little bit of a problem and I thought I was addressing it, but I didn’t address it far enough so that’s why things kind of got out of my control,” Yauk said. “Everything that the USDA has found, we’ll take care of it and they check it to make sure that it’s acceptable, and then we have to respond as far as how we’re going to prevent this from happening again.”
The business is currently closed, Yauk said. He employs five full-time workers and two part-timers. Yauk also sells meat and poultry products at his store location, and he said some of the products recalled were sold out of his store.
“We are closed right now until the USDA says it’s all right, and I don’t know how long that’s going to be,” said Yauk, who has been operating the business for 14 1/2 years in Windsor.
When asked how much of a hit his business might take as a result of the recall, Yauk said: “Severely. I want to get this cleared up.”
Yauk wouldn’t say whether something like this could shut down the business for good.
“I can’t say right now. No comment,” Yauk said.
The FSIS said the following products are subject to recall:
» Colorado Best Beef brand various fresh, smoked and shelf-stable meat products.
» James Ranch brand jerky and summer sausage.
» Rocky Plains Meats brand hams, bacon, raw and smoked sausage, jerky and raw poultry.
» John Long Farms brand fresh and smoked pork products.
» Horned Beef brand jerky.
» Mile High Hungarian Sausage brand fresh and smoked bacon and sausage.
THE FSIS said all products being recalled are packaged in retail-ready packaging of various sizes. Each package bears the establishment number “Est. 20309” or “P-20309” inside the USDA Mark of Inspection. The products were produced between April 1-Dec. 5, and can be identified by four-digit Julian dates ranging between 3091 and 3339.
On Thursday, the FSIS said that Yauk’s has expanded its recall list. Products subject to the recall expansion include various meat and/or poultry products from the following brands:
» Four Sisters Farm
» Heart Rock Bison
» High Point Bison
» Luc’s Pizza
» Mountain States Poultry & Meats
» Open A Bar 2
» Rocky Plains Quality Meats
» Schmidt’s Bakery & Deli
» Wag’s Livestock
» Wayne’s Specialty Meats
» Windsor Dairy
» Wyoming Pure Beef
» Yauk’s Specialty Meats
Yauk said the financial impact of recalling 90,000 pounds of meat to a small-scale business varies with the time of year, but he said it is a lot of meat for a small business.
“I’m just a little business. Yes, it is,” Yauk said. “Most of the products affected would be from the first of September, but they did see one comment made back earlier in the year that prompted them to take the recall that far out (to April 1).”
The products were sold at the wholesale and retail level in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
The FSIS said in the news release it has suspended the assignment of inspectors at the establishment, and the investigation is ongoing.
Telephone calls to the FSIS in Washington were not returned to explain why the assignment of inspectors was suspended.
When available, the retail distribution lists will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.