Yeshivaworld has received dozens of emails in the last 12 hours telling us that they have received anonymous, automated phone calls telling them that Rubashkin Meat has Mad Cow Disease – amongst other things. Yeshivaworld has learned that these phone calls have been made to thousands & thousands of homes.
Take a minute to read an email which we received from a YW reader, and then the response from Rubashkin regarding these claims.
Dear YW Editor,,
Someone is making anonymous / unidentified phone calls to the frum community regarding kosher meat recalls, primarily anything from Rubashkin / Agriprocessors. The website they reference appears to be hosted by the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union. Can someone uncover the truth about this group and the scare tactics they are using by calling homes telling them the meat is unsafe? The reason I am so skeptical, is that they are referencing Mad Cow Disease. If there were a serious threat about this dreaded disease, wouldn’t the government get involved the way they have in other cases where the remote possibility existed? It seems that there are groups with an agenda against Rubashkin. (Unions often have such agendas.) If they can’t scare people away with safety, animal rights, or kashrus issues as they have tried to in the past, they seem to be resorting to scare / terror tactics such as the dreaded Mad Cow Disease. This, without properly identifying themselves in their phone calls definitely seems to be a terror tactic, that could really scare the kosher consumer with accusations that may or (more likely the case from their past) may not have any merit.
If you can look into this and expose the truth for the kosher consumers as you have in the past with similar issues, as with all else you do, we would greatly appreciate it.
Rubashkin Meats Letter (Sholom Rubashkin):
November 14, 2007
It has come to my attention that you may have been the victim of a slanderous and patently false campaign by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. You may have received their misleading flyer entitled “Kosher Alert” or an automated phone call with misinformation about products produced by Agriprocessors. This is part of a textbook campaign by the Union to force a company into submission to unionize a plant even when it is against the wishes of the workers, which is the case at Agriprocessors.
The vicious tactics by the Union not withstanding, when someone makes allegations about practices in our company or the quality of our products, I take it personally. My family guarantees that all our products are safe and wholesome. Let me assure you there are no recalls or food safety issues with our products. We have a moral obligation to produce the safest products for our customers and we take that obligation very seriously. The Rubashkin family has been supplying high quality kosher meat and poultry for over fifty years. Mr. Aron Rubashkin has earned his reputation of trust for Kosher, quality and food safety. That is why consumers across America rely on our product every day.
As you know, all of our products must earn the seal of wholesomeness by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) before they leave our plant. To produce safe food in our modern production facility, we and the on-site USDA inspectors maintain a constant vigilance. We are committed to continue to strive for improvement so that you are guaranteed of the safest and utmost quality products.
It is unfortunate that in today’s day and age of respect for democratic institutions, that the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), refuses to abide by the wishes of the workers at Agriprocessors not to organize into a Union We would at any time respect the right of our employees to organize and join a union if they so choose.
We hope that you will now recognize the context of the disinformation that has been disseminated in our community in a brazen attempt to force the workers to unionize. We know, that like all fair-minded people that you will stand with our employees and their right to decide for themselves whether or not to have a union.
Ironically, the UFCW has targeted our food safety record that as you can see below is nothing less than stellar. Here are but a few highlights:
• Concerns about Mad Cow disease are simply wrong. We have never had product from any suspect animals leave our plant.
• Agriprocessors has had zero recalls in any of our raw, fresh or frozen poultry and beef products since we opened. Yes, not one recall in nineteen years.
• The UFCW claims we have excessive reports of non-compliance. In covering the same UFCW report, the Cedar Rapids Gazette interviewed USDA spokesperson Amanda Eamich who was quoted as saying, “….a plant the size of Agriprocessors might receive 9,000 inspections per year, of which 250 noncompliance findings remains “a pretty small percentage.”
We have always maintained an “open door” policy and encourage our customers to ask any questions that they may have about our products. We rely on our quality control systems and personnel, USDA oversight and independent auditing to assure the products safety and wholesomeness of our products. Rabbis and customers are welcome to tour our plants at any time to see our commitment at work first-hand.
We are proud of our commitment to the principles we established almost nineteen years ago. The food we produce at Agriprocessors is safe and wholesome. You have my word on it.
We encourage you to ask questions and find out for yourself. To get the facts, visit our web site agriprocessor.com.
We are most gratified by your continued support and thank you for helping make Agriprocessors the leader in kosher beef and poultry.