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Thread: Game processor -- not getting back your meat

  1. #1
    Member Irish's Avatar
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    Unhappy Game processor -- not getting back your meat

    This is a first for me, and I'm sure many of you have had similar experiences, but want to get your feedback.

    I, along, with my brother harvested goats last year. Like usual, I cut up all the meat, packaged the backstraps and roasts and took the scraps to my local processor to grind into burger and sausage. In the mean time, my wife and I cooked some of the meat and we thought it was wonderful. Very mild and good to eat.

    I'd heard a lot of things about goat, so I was pleasantly surprised how good it was.

    Three weeks pass and we get our meat back & I throw it in the freezer, not thinking anything of it. We still have moose to eat, so I don't even get to the goat burger until early January.

    I pulled out 2 packages and cooked it up and I immediately could smell a very strong odor coming from the meat. I still serve it up sith some seasoning ect, but to get to the point, it was awful. I added hot sauce, seasoning, other ingredients. I even tried turning some into hunter stick, but it is just plain awful.

    I usually don't have a problem with any meat, so when something bothers me, it's pretty bad.

    My only guess here is I was given back different meat. It's pretty frustrating & I haven't approached the processor because I honestly don't think it'll do any good, but it just irritates me because we have 25 pounds of burger that is just awful and my we may have to buy burger for the first time in years.

    We even ate some more of the goat roast to make sure, and it was wonderful. My wife told me to cook up the burger and the roast and make them eat it and tell us it's the same animal.

    This year, I'm going back to doing my own I guess. I'm going to buy a commercial grinder, because I can't afford to lose all that meat. It always irritates me to because I'm so careful with my meat in the field. Keeping it clean, cool etc...

    Would you approach the processor or just move on?

  2. #2
    Member ksaye's Avatar
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    I personally would be annoyed and move on. However; the processor cut a corner somewhere and cheated you; knowingly or accidently. You can't prove it unless someone confesses. And hearing all the stories of people complaining and the processor simply saying it was bad meat, etc and know one can prove anything.

    So; my advice would be to contact them and politely state your disappointment in the product you received. Tell them what is wrong. Don't expect anything in return, but it at least tells the processor that their customers are not willing to take inferior products or the cutting of corners. And of course you can tell them you will go somewhere else next time.

    As a science experiment....you could get DNA samples done and see if your unprocessed goat matches with your ground goat...but that would only give you the chance to say "gotcha"; and is probably a little overboard. Would be interesting tho.

  3. #3
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    There's a guy in Eagle River who processes your meat while you watch him do it. PM me and I can give you a lead on him.

    You can't drop your meat off, if you're not there he won't do it.

    You just make an appointment and bring your meat in there and he grinds it to burger or sausage while you're there

    or he'll slice and dice the entire moose steaks roasts whatever

    He also has excellent facilities for wrapping and commercial vacuum sealing

  4. #4
    Member CGSwimmer25's Avatar
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    Whether it does any good or not it always makes me feel better to say something. Otherwise, you sit around thinking about it getting more and more irritated that you got screwed. My approach would be to go to the processor and state my concern, if it seems like he actually cares and wants to make it right then I feel better and can let it go. If he doesn't care and blows me off then I tell him that I will no longer be taking my meat to him in the future, and I will make it my personal mission in life to spread the word about his shady business practices and make sure nobody else gets screwed by him. Good luck

  5. #5
    Member Alaskanmutt's Avatar
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    Default Love this guy

    http://www.glennswildgame.com/

    He process all my game and I have NEVER gotten anything back that wasn't any thing but delish.

    And he says it was mine and I tend to believe him

  6. #6

    Thumbs down

    There's nothing like word of mouth to kill a business that under-performs. They should be given a chance to make it right but again, why don't they get it right the first time. Especially regarding wild game or fish processing. Truth is many local mainline processing plants "don't" all give you back your meat due to being "too much work" but that's crazy because hunters start choosing the quality of their meat by choosing the hunting location, and then how they take care of it, including fish.

    My uncle is & has been a butcher all of his life in Washington state, he taught me how to process meat and we ALWAYS gave back the original product. We even cleaned the grinder in between customer grinds so it can be done.
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  7. #7
    Member Irish's Avatar
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    I won't be using them, which is dissapointing, but it's not worth the risk again. I'm just glad it wasn't a moose or something larger.

    We use to package all of our own meat, but tried to take the easy route. The sad part too is I've actually used this processor for the last 3 or 4 years, with no issues, but it only takes one time to lose my business when it comes to this. We put too much time, money and effort to not get back what we harvested.

    I think contacting them to let them know, they lost a customer, is probably a good idea. Who knows...an employee may have made a mistake, so letting the owner know is probably good for their business, so they have a chance to correct it.
    Last edited by Brian M; 04-02-2010 at 18:01.

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    Good on you for getting a grinder and grinding it yourself! Wish more would then you could see that its almost never the processor thats ruins the meat.

    Its pretty clear who you are talking about. He wouldn't be in business as long as he has if he was swapping out your "good" meat with others "bad stuff" Personally I think he runs a quality operation, but you hear this from people every year about every processor etc.

    I suppose its possble that something got switched up, but to be honest, for 25lbs its hardly worth the time required to clean the grinder.

    So, go down there and talk to him but the owner isnt the guy in the back thats doing the work so not much is going to happen. There is just simply no way to know short of a DNA test if its your burger or not.

    That being said - I shot a nice buck this year down on ADQ - and the roasts and Steaks are phenominal, however I did grind up (myself) the fronts, neck and scraps into burger and guess what - it was AWFUL - horribly full of that lovely Buckinrut flavor - thank God I only had about 12lbs of it - I took about 20lbs of extra moose burger, the leftover buckinrut burger and sent it down the hill to turn into pepper sticks - I can still taste it in there and I simply can't stomach it, the guys at the poker game love it so it must just be me.

    I think its probably your goat due to the lower cuts/grade of the meat and if any fat, blood or silver skin got in there - it has a way of "flavoring" the rest of the grind - especially on a small job like that.
    Last edited by Brian M; 04-02-2010 at 18:02.

  9. #9
    Member Alaskan22's Avatar
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    Default ...

    While I agree it sucks to have this happen, hard to know what or why this happend. Odds are something during the process, or at the processor went bad. Maybe it was your meat, or maybe it is someone elses meat. Hard to say. Unfortunately you didn't find out till much later, as letting him know right away would have been best. Hope it was a one time deal (sucks that it had to be YOUR one time though) with the processor...

    Just another reason for doing all the work yourself.

    Sorry for the experience, but a good reason to go get another goat this year!
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  10. #10

    Default Another Vote for Glenn

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskanmutt View Post
    http://www.glennswildgame.com/

    He process all my game and I have NEVER gotten anything back that wasn't any thing but delish.

    And he says it was mine and I tend to believe him

    I second mutt's vote for Glenn's Wild Game! Excellent work!

  11. #11
    Member Huntress's Avatar
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    There are many processors out there that will tell you that you get your own meat back when in fact they throw everyone's meat into one big vat to process. It's very misleading!
    One person we use and will continue to use is Lisa at Pioneer meats. She always sends our meat back to us in great condition (great products as well) and won't accept anything that is tainted or dirty.
    "In the interest of protecting my privacy I will no longer be accepting Private Messages generated from this site and if you email me, it better be good!"

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    I used to use the place in ******** that operates a processing place and butcher shop. But with the censorship on this forum I will not state there name or the posting will get deleted. Stinky meat, with lots of hair, and water added to the burger and sausage. Absolutely not the clean trimmed meat we dropped off.

    Started going back to Indian Valley about 3 years ago and couldnt be happier. My son and wife are pickier than I am when it comes to game meat and they eat everything we had processed at Indian Valley with zero complaints. Polish, summer, meat sticks, hot dogs, burger, every package is yummy.
    Last edited by Brian M; 04-02-2010 at 18:02.
    Tennessee

  13. #13
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    Default fat

    Did you trim it or ask them to trim it up? If you leave the fat on some wild game it will make the rest of the burger go rancid faster and taste much gamier after sitting in the freezer for a couple months. could be just the trimmings aren't as good as the prime cuts that you roasted and steaked out....?

  14. #14
    Member Huntress's Avatar
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    ******** is one of the ones that told us we would get our meat back, when in fact we didn't.
    I'm sorry but we put so much work into making sure our meat comes out of the field clean and not tainted. I'd be ****ed if I'm having stuff made out of someone else's meat.

    Irish, there are MANY topics on this same subject under the Alaska Meat and Trophy care forum, check em out.....
    Last edited by Brian M; 04-02-2010 at 18:12.
    "In the interest of protecting my privacy I will no longer be accepting Private Messages generated from this site and if you email me, it better be good!"

  15. #15
    Member goaty's Avatar
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    Default commercial grinder?

    sorry to hear about that,
    But you don't have to get a "commercial" Grinder. I bought a small home grinder and ground several moose and caribou through it before my wife put it together backwards and when I turned it on I heard all the gears break. We had if for at least 3 years. I bought another and have used it ever since. We spent $80 on each one. In my mind, that's better than buying a $500+ one. (but they are nice, I just can't afford something like that)

  16. #16
    Member Alaskanmutt's Avatar
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    Default We Quit using

    The one south of Anchorage a few years ago. My buddy dropped a bear off and he watched them hook it then slide it down till it rested up against someone elses meat that had vegatation on it. Or so he said.

    I work to hard for what I get to take a chance. Glenn lets me watch him hang and tag the meat so I get a chance to see what my meat might come into contact with.

  17. #17
    Member Irish's Avatar
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    I'm meticulous about taking care of my meat & know that it was not my handling that led the meat to going bad. It's never happened to me before and I'm sure it was soembody else's. Almost tastes and smells like a rutted caribou...

    I've been looking at the 1/2 hp commercial grinders that Cabelas has around $300. I think it'd be worth the money & I can buy the 1lb bags to do the burger and sausage myself.

    It's just not worth it to me anymore to get back a box of ruined meat.

  18. #18
    Member Milo's Avatar
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    Thumbs up DIY

    Yep, Do it Yourself is the only way to be sure. I was fortunate to marry a farm girl that came with her own meat grinder and sausage stuffer. Doing a moose can be a real chore, but knocking out a goat isn't be too big a deal.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irish View Post
    This is a first for me, and I'm sure many of you have had similar experiences, but want to get your feedback.

    I, along, with my brother harvested goats last year. Like usual, I cut up all the meat, packaged the backstraps and roasts and took the scraps to my local processor to grind into burger and sausage. In the mean time, my wife and I cooked some of the meat and we thought it was wonderful. Very mild and good to eat.

    I'd heard a lot of things about goat, so I was pleasantly surprised how good it was.

    Three weeks pass and we get our meat back & I throw it in the freezer, not thinking anything of it. We still have moose to eat, so I don't even get to the goat burger until early January.

    I pulled out 2 packages and cooked it up and I immediately could smell a very strong odor coming from the meat. I still serve it up sith some seasoning ect, but to get to the point, it was awful. I added hot sauce, seasoning, other ingredients. I even tried turning some into hunter stick, but it is just plain awful.

    I usually don't have a problem with any meat, so when something bothers me, it's pretty bad.

    My only guess here is I was given back different meat. It's pretty frustrating & I haven't approached the processor because I honestly don't think it'll do any good, but it just irritates me because we have 25 pounds of burger that is just awful and my we may have to buy burger for the first time in years.

    We even ate some more of the goat roast to make sure, and it was wonderful. My wife told me to cook up the burger and the roast and make them eat it and tell us it's the same animal.

    This year, I'm going back to doing my own I guess. I'm going to buy a commercial grinder, because I can't afford to lose all that meat. It always irritates me to because I'm so careful with my meat in the field. Keeping it clean, cool etc...

    Would you approach the processor or just move on?

    It was this exact reason that I started doing all of my cutting and grinding. Yep, it only takes one time to put a bad taste in your mouth, literally...

    I dropped a moose off to a processor in central Eagle River several years ago. I've been brought up to be very clean and thorough in the field with my meat and I know what to do with it. What I gave him was clean and in great shape. What I got back was not. This meat still had that really dark "crust" on it when mine didn't have any. There were even leaves and stick/twig pieces in it all. There were grains of dirt/sand on some of the steaks. I got someone elses crap back. I was pissed, I couldn't believe it.
    Unfortunately sometimes when a person drops off meat to certain outfits that do alot of game, especially moose/caribou, they'll put ALOT of meat together and start grinding and cutting for hours on end. After their done, they'll sometimes grab your ticket and look at the weights that your are to get back and start grabbing from the pile. It's not always your stuff that you get back.
    I went back and spoke to the owner and what happened was pretty much what I expected to happen, he said prove it. What a jackass... I've never gone back...
    Now that I do my own, except certain sausages or whatnot, it's been great. If I need some work done now from a processor, I'll just freeze whatever it is and wait till like Nov/Dec when they're not busy to take it in. Haven't had any problems since.

  20. #20
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampdonkey View Post
    Now that I do my own, except certain sausages or whatnot, it's been great. If I need some work done now from a processor, I'll just freeze whatever it is and wait till like Nov/Dec when they're not busy to take it in. Haven't had any problems since.
    Great idea. We do the same thing. We cut our own steaks and roasts and grind our own burger. We do get our hot dogs and sausage processed, but we save it for the off-peak season when our game is likely the only stuff they've got going.

    As for the expensive commercial grinders, the price isn't so steep if you go in with a couple of other people. We bought a very nice one from Alaska Butcher Supply, but split three ways between my brother, father, and I, the price was manageable. With the savings from doing your own, it's practically paid off after a couple of years.

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