Warning about door-to-door meat salesmen

By Gray Hall - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Every summer, the BBB says it gets complaints from consumers who are not satisfied, or even claim to get sick from buying meat from door-to-door salesmen. Before you fall for the low price pitch for a batch of meat -- do your research.

Most people love a great cut of meat, but not all meat is good meat. Henry Reidy found out the hard way when a door-to-door meat salesman showed up in his neighborhood.

"As soon as we tried to cut into a piece of it…we were like, we have totally been shystered," said Reidy.

He says he bought the pitch -- hook, line, and sinker.

"He goes, 'I usually sell it to restaurants and I have got some extra meat and I don't want to take it all the way back with me...I will give you a really good deal on it,'" Reidy said.

Reidy says when he tried to cook the meat, he discovered it was bad. By then it was too late. He tried to track down the meat salesman but didn't have any luck.

"You say, 'I am never going to get suckered like that' and this guy suckers you in and you feel like a total...like why didn't I see this coming a mile away," he said.

The Better Business Bureau says the door-to-door meat salesmen usually make their rounds in the summer. The consumer advocate group says not all the salesman are bad, but consumers should beware.

"This is a good case of self protection, go slow, nothing is that great of a deal that you have to do it today...if they are going to be in the neighborhood today they will be in the neighborhood tomorrow," said Tom Gallagher with the BBB.

At Belmont Butchery, it's all about good meat. They don't advise buying meat from a door-to-door salesman.

"It is actually surprising because it doesn't seem like something somebody would think is a good idea to do. I wouldn't load up the trunk of my car with meat on a 100 degree day and try to sell it to somebody. You might as well put in your overcoat," said Chris Mattera, Chef Charcutier at Belmont Butchery.

Workers at Belmont Butchery say there are some things to look for when selecting the right cut of meat, like the USDA seal, and a nice red fresh color. They say another good idea is buying from a place that specializes in meat.

"You want to be able to go some place where you can talk to someone who knows what they are talking about and who can tell you everything you want to know about the piece of meat...what it is, where it came from, how it's been treated from the beginning all the way to your plate," Mattera said.

Another tip, the BBB says if you are going to buy meat from a door-to-door salesman, never pay with cash. For more information on this issue, click here.

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