Statement on Animal Welfare and Handling Practices
Yosemite Foods Inc. is dedicated to the humane handling of livestock for processing. When activists broke into our facility in April, we immediately reviewed our security protocols, food security program, and humane handling procedures. Yosemite Foods Inc. is dedicated to producing safe, high quality products through humane procedures. We work closely with an outside humane handling specialist to review our policies and procedures, and train our employees,” stated Steven Lau, President of Yosemite Foods Inc.
With the current spread of COVID-19, Yosemite Foods Inc. implemented procedures requiring PPE, including facemasks for the safety of our employees and their families. Activists took advantage of this requirement by breaking into our facility wearing PPE, pretending to be vendors. These individuals risked the safety of our employees and meat supply, illegally planting cameras in our facility.
Not only was the video illegally obtained, but it was also falsified to inaccurately represent our company. Segments were edited into the video that were not from our facility. Papers shown in the video were confidential documents, obtained illegally, while other documents shown are neither used by USDA or by personnel at our facility.
The video released brought attention to our processes. Although the video highlights areas where we can improve, it should be clear that we follow all procedures mandated by USDA and our humane handling program. We internally audit our employee’s humane handling on a daily basis. A third party video audit is also performed on a daily basis. Employees are regularly trained on livestock handling. Our external consultants are trained under Dr. Temple Grandin, the premier expert in humane handling.
Following the break-in, we launched an internal investigation and had our humane handling consultant visit our facility to review procedures and work with employees. Outside security was brought in to enhance our security procedures. Yosemite Foods Inc. will continue to work with our employees to ensure humane handling and security procedures are up-to-date.
We understand the significance of the video and the ownership takes full responsibility. We must aim for continual improvements. The owners, management, and employees of Yosemite Foods are dedicated to humanely handling livestock and producing safe, high quality meats. Yosemite Foods Inc. is cooperating with all authorities related to this incident and has implemented corrective actions.
We hope these activists realize the danger they put themselves, our employees, and our products in as a result of their illegal activities. As a family owned and operated business, we care about the role we serve in the community. We continually have discussions on how we can improve our processes and provide high quality, safe products for our consumers and their families.
About Yosemite Foods Inc.
For four generations, our family has provided quality pork and meat products to wholesale buyers and retail consumers. What started as a small mom and pop meat counter in Modesto, CA has grown into a state-of-the-art USDA inspected processing company. In addition to utilizing the latest processing technologies, Yosemite Foods Inc. employs energy efficiency and sustainability practices to provide the highest quality and safest meat products available, as well as limit our environmental impact. We take pride in being a family business, helping you take care of your family. Press Release PDF >