Shopping Stress: buying meat is easy

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RAPID CITY, S.D. - Grocery shopping can be a chore, and sometimes a little stressful. One thing you shouldn't stress about is buying meat.

South Dakota State Meat Inspector, Bryan Bauer says the United States has the safest meat supply in the world.

"The federal meat policies have been in place for more than 110 years," said Bauer, "They have really come up with some great ideas and some great ways to make sure that meat is safe."

Bauer works with retailers and processors in the Black Hills, making visits to ensure meat is safe. He observes everything from pre-harvest to meat counter inspection.

"In the grocery store we do the random unannounced visits, which I think is really important," said Bauer, "I want to check their conditions out and see if their standards are what they need to be."

Retailers welcome the daily inspections. The crew at Wild Idea Buffalo Companies

"That inspector is there just to make sure that all of those things are being followed, and if not then they can bring it to our attention," said Jilian Jones of Wild Idea Buffalo Company.

Having a safe meat product also requires some consumer responsibility. While you are at the store you can examine your meat by look, smell and feel. Meat should have a fresh red bloom, the temperature should be cold to the touch, and it should have no smell. The packaging should have no holes, tears or excessive amounts of liquid.

Wherever you are buying meat, you can be assured that you are buying a wholesome product.

"Knowing where your meat comes from. I think that a big one, and something that we're not in touch with anymore. Try to find a local farmer or rancher, go out to their place. See how that animal is raised. I think it goes back to the health of the animal from the very beginning," said Jones.