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Federally inspected meat available for purchase on ISU campus

By Staff | Apr 25, 2016

AMES (ISU) – Students, employees and the public can purchase federally inspected meat cuts on the Iowa State University campus.

As a federally inspected facility, the ISU meat laboratory in Kildee Hall is inspected every day to ensure high quality product reaches the shelves of the meat lab store, according to meat lab manager Mike Holtzbauer.

The meat lab store is used as a cost recovery tool to cover expenses associated with raising and harvesting animals used for teaching purposes in various ISU animal science classes, Holtzbauer said.

“We do not operate the store to make a profit,” he said. “We want to cover our costs of purchasing the animals we use to teach animal science classes.”

The meat lab store, located at 162 Kildee Hall, is open Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. except during some university break times. Holtzbauer said these hours were in place when he started at the meat lab 28 years ago.

The availability of cuts, products and species varies throughout the year, Holtzbauer said. Although the store doesn’t have the inventory to match up with other grocery stores in the area, it can offer lower prices.

“Inventory is sporadic because we do not harvest anything specifically for store inventory,” Holtzbauer said. “However, the store is one of the few places in Ames that carries lamb, so we run out quickly.”

Another difference between the meat lab store and other grocery stores is how the items are sold. Meat cuts are sold frozen and any processed meats in stock are sold refrigerated. Student employees in the meat laboratory assist in processing the meat, packaging and selling product to customers, and taking inventory for each sale date.

Employee Trapper Woodley, a senior in Spanish with a minor in animal science, said student employees also answer questions from customers during the open hours.

“We get a lot of questions about where the meat comes from and what animals we use in our store,” Woodley said. “We usually have two students in the store at a time in order to fill orders and answer questions.

“We need to have knowledge of our products to relate to our customers.”

In addition to walk-in sales, the store has a website where customers can place orders. Holtzbauer keeps the website as current as possible with lists of in-stock items and those not available that week. Anyone can place an order online, and pick up and pay for it at the store.

See the website and current product availability at www.meatscience.ag.iastate.edu/meat-sales.

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