The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has reached a settlement agreement and final order with Ventura Locker following an investigation into the business’ operations. As part of the agreement the company’s license will be temporarily suspended from Feb. 1, 2013 to Feb. 28, 2013.
According to Dustin Vande Hoef, Communications director for the Iowa Department of Agriculture, an employee of the Ventura Locker contacted the department on Nov. 30, 2011 alleging fraudulent practice by the custom exempt locker.
The Department’s Meat and Poultry Inspection Bureau is responsible for inspection of custom exempt lockers. Livestock slaughtered under the custom exemption is not inspected. The products from these animals are marked “Not For Sale” and returned for the exclusive use in the home of the owner. Under the retail exemption facilities may purchase state or federal inspected raw materials for further processing into retail sales.
Following the suspension, Ventura Locker may request reinstatement of its license if it passes an inspection by the Department’s Meat and Poultry Inspection Bureau and meets other requirements outlined in the settlement agreement with the Department.
A statement released by the Iowa Department of Agriculture Tuesday stated that as part of the agreement the Ventura Locker does not admit or deny any of the alleged violations cited by the Department. Also, the company can obtain a retail food establishment license from the Cerro Gordo Department of Public Health for retail sales of meat.