John's Butcher Shoppee Accused of Labeling Organ Meat "Ground Beef"


A curious suit over questionable meat.
  • A curious suit over questionable meat.
At a news conference today in St. Louis, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced that he's filed a civil suit against a meat processor with stores in Overland and Festus on claims that the company mislabeled some of its products.

According to the attorney general's office, sixteen separate tests by the USDA and the Missouri Department of Agriculture confirmed that products labeled as "ground beef" and "sausage" at John's Butcher Shoppee contained heart muscle. In some tests, heart muscle was the primary ingredient, according to the AG. The state's top prosecutor also claims that tests revealed soy in the sausage.

The suit names the owners of John's Butcher Shoppee, brothers Michael and Thomas Kolish, as defendants. This afternoon Daily RFT put in a call to the store's Overland location on Walton Road. Judy Kolish, the men's mother, answered the phone. She says the family company -- in its 38th year in business -- has been blindsided by the accusations.

"We got notice just yesterday," says Kolish. "It's unreal. We pride ourselves on our quality."

Kolish says the phone has been ringing off the hook today with calls from reporters. Meanwhile, the brothers are in Hillsboro, where the suit was filed in circuit court. Judy Kolish says she doesn't know what could have prompted the lawsuit but notes that the business recently had a disgruntled employee.

Daily RFT has a call out to the attorney general's office for more information about what may have prompted its investigation and lawsuit.


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