A Montana meat processor is fighting back against a state-issued recall, claiming that his business was treated unfairly. Shane Flowers, owner of S&T Project Meats and Ranch House Meats, participated in a discussion last week with Yellowstone County officials, the state Department of Livestock and other meat processors.

The state of Montana on May 5 ordered a recall of all ready-to-eat jerky produced by Project Meats between April 10, 2016 and April 10, 2017. During an inspection, State Inspection Program Personnel requested records for the jerky cooking process, and S&T Project Meats said none were available. Because records were unavailable, it is not clear whether the products are safe for human consumption. S&T Project Meats could not provide documentation about whether the humidity, drying time, and water activity were monitored when the jerky was made.  

The Billings Gazette reports that Flowers turned to Yellowstone County for help on what steps to take to solve the problem, telling Commission Chairman John Ostlund in a letter he feels the recall was unfair to his business.

Mike Honeycutt, executive director of the Montana Department of Livestock, participated in the discussion and noted that processors around the state were getting conflicting advice from various levels within the department and its Meat/Poultry Inspection Division. A big concern Honeycutt said he’s heard from processors is that agency officials are “not singing from the same hymnal.” He did not get into specifics about the Project Meats recall.

Flowers said he believes h was denied due process with the recall and that problems with the program are statewide and need to be fixed. He added that his company has an automated system for jerky production and has never had an illness associated with his jerky.

Source: Billings Gazette