Hot Dog Epilogue


(Read the original story.)

I called the Niman Ranch customer service hotline on Tuesday morning (whereby I learned that "Niman" rhymes with "hymen," not "Nieman" as I had previously assumed). I was met with a bit of incredulity and invited to call the store where we bought the hot dogs. That didn't make any sense to me, but I decided to go ahead and call Trader Joe's later that morning. On my way to work, however, the guy from Niman Ranch called me back and asked if he could come and pick up the evidence. Apparently his manager wanted to get the stuff as quickly as possible. Specifically, he wanted the hot dog. I told him I threw it away, but kept the label bits and took pictures. I also told him that Tuesday and Wednesday were bad, but let's try Thursday.

After a few more phone calls we arranged for him to come and collect the goods at my office sometime today. At around 11:00 a.m. he showed up. He was very nice. Probably not to thrilled at having just walked into a law firm. When I met him in the lobby I noticed that he had brought a box labeled "NIMAN RANCH GUANCIALE PORK JOWLS." Dried and cured. I thought: "Pork jowls? Really? This is my parting gift? Who eats pork jowls?" But after discussing the incident, in which he assured me that manufacturing and packaging were totally separate and he had no idea how something like this could happen, he pointed to the box and said, "And we brought you some steaks."

I looked in the box, and found what appeared to be two enormous steaks. I later found out that each package was two steaks. Two New York Steaks and two ribeyes. According to the packing slip (on which the steaks were identified as a "thank you gift"), I now own 3.16 pounds of beef. I was expecting a package of free hot dogs, so this was a pleasant surprise.

So, barbecue at my place tonight. You bring the hot dogs.


To bad you don't live in Alameda yet or I woud swing by.

Delicious justice!

Also, and this is just a random thought, if meat processing and packaging are seperate, then does that imply that Niman Ranch re-processed (ie - recycled) an already packaged frank? You know how sometimes grocery stores will return cartons of eggs and an unscrupulous (meaning without scruples) company will just put them in a new carton with a new expiration date?

I don't think the label was a result of a recycled package that didn't pass QC or was returned by the customer. I didn't mention this before, but the label bits still had backing on them. This means that it was a fresh, unused label that somehow found its way into the grinder. Very strange.

Crap, I wish I had read this yesterday. (: Oh well, I needed to pack anyway.

Any story that turns hotdogs into steaks is a good one.

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This page contains a single entry by hb published on July 27, 2006 1:52 PM.

Memo to Niman Ranch: Keep the Stickers Away From the Meat Grinder was the previous entry in this blog.

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