Cow hearts in the sausage, Mo. AG alleges

Bryan Cohen Jun. 21, 2011, 2:18pm


ST. LOUIS (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced on Tuesday that he has filed a lawsuit to stop a local meat processor from the alleged practice mislabeling meat products.

Koster alleges that John's Butcher Shoppee in Overland, Mo., and Festus, Mo., fraudulently sold products labeled as "sausage" and "ground beef" that actually contained cow hearts as an ingredient, which is not allowed by state and federal law. Koster alleges that heart muscle is the primary ingredient in some of the shop's products.

Koster requested that the court issue a temporary restraining order to stop John's Butcher Shoppee and the two brothers who operate the business from the practice.

The suit names Michael Kolish, the president of John's Butcher Shoppee, Inc., and his brother, Thomas Kolish, secretary of the business as the defendants.

"Consumers should be able to trust that the products they buy are what the manufacturer has advertised. In no area is this more important than in the food Missourians feed their families," Koster said. "The introduction of cow hearts into ground beef products is an unacceptable misrepresentation to local shoppers. My office will aggressively pursue any food manufacturer who misrepresents or adulterates our local food supply."

Koster alleges that tests by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Missouri Department of Agriculture show that products sold by the shop that are advertised as "ground beef" and "sausage" contained heart muscle. Koster also alleges that the company's sausage also contains soy.

Koster is seeking full restitution for customers as well as penalties. The civil suit also seeks a restraining order to prevent the business from continuing the practice.

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