MISSING MEAT: Customers frustrated after local processing plant suddenly closes

Local News

LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – A popular meat processing company in East Texas has closed suddenly, leaving many wondering what happened to their meat after dropping it off just recently.

The company, Skinner’s Meat Processing Co., voluntarily shut down after the game warden and Longview’s Environmental Health Department paid them a visit this week.

For some, the act of hunting isn’t just for sport.

“Hunters are conservationists too, you know, everybody respects wild game if you do it right,” said Cody Ormes, a customer of Skinner’s Meat Processing Co.

One aspect of being a conservationist is having the meat processed, something Skinner’s in Longview has been known for. Recently, the company underwent ownership changes went Jerry Prewitt purchased the property and named it 4J Processing according to this Facebook post.

However, due to some issues, they voluntarily closed up shop Monday.

“So the city has an Environmental Health Department and they received some complaints regarding some smell and some issues taking place at the meat market,” said Shawn Hara with the City of Longview.

The city discovered a few undisclosed issues, the biggest, permits.

“It’s our understanding that there’d been a change of operations from the previous to the current, and when that happens, there needs to be updated permit to say okay, it’s not this anymore, it’s now these folks,” said Hara.

On Facebook, we found customers looking for answers about their processed meat and their coolers.

Many patrons stopped by the closed building when we visited Tuesday, like Ormes, who said he dropped his meat off three weeks ago and expected it back soon.

“I said I had it on ice bleeding out before I even brought it in, and then here I find out about this shutdown today,” said Ormes. “Apparently if your cooler’s in the back , your meat’s discarded, so, there’s about 200 coolers back there.”

We went behind Skinner’s and there is a storage room completely full of coolers, all marked with people’s names that dropped off deer. We tried reaching out to 4J processing on Facebook, called the shop, and a number Prewitt posted to the 4J Facebook page. He hasn’t returned any of our calls or comments.

There is no indication as the what the next steps for the property or business will be and what will happen to the customer’s meat.

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