Who owns Serenade Foods? Meat giant recalls chicken products over salmonella contamination

Who owns Serenade Foods? Meat giant recalls chicken products over salmonella contamination
Serenade Foods' parent company Maple Leaf Farms has been led by Scott (L) and John Tucker since 2001 (mapleleaffarms.com)

The Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced on August 9 that Serenade Foods, a Milford, Indiana establishment, will have to recall roughly 59,251 "pounds of frozen, raw, breaded and pre-browned stuffed chicken products" due to a possible Salmonella contamination. The FSIS had originally issued the health alert on June 2, 2021, calling for Serenade Foods to recall chicken items produced on February 24, 2021 and February 25, 2021. According to the official website, "products subject to recall bear establishment number 'P- 2375' inside the USDA mark of inspection." These items were reportedly shipped to distributors nationwide.

News of this comes amidst the country opening up as regulations for the pandemic are relaxing. Plague cases in Colorado have also shown a significant rise, as the FSIS continues to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate prospects of a multistate Salmonella outbreak in at least eight different states. The onset dates of the disease ranged from February 21 through June 28 this year.

"Unopened intact packages of raw, frozen, breaded chicken stuffed with broccoli and cheese were collected from an ill person’s home and tested positive for the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis. FSIS continues to work with the CDC and state and local public health partners on this investigation," the website adds. 


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Who owns Serenade Foods?

Serenade Foods is a meat slaughtering and processing farm, specializing in duck meat, that was established in 1976 by Maple Leaf Farms. Their official website describes Donald Wentzel founding the business in 1958. At the time, Maple Leaf Farms was a small duck operation in Northern Indiana, their motto being "quality you can count on.”

In 1963, Wentzel's son-in-law Terry Tucker joined the farms, and in just five years he assumed all leadership as executive vice president after Wentzel's sudden death. Under Tucker's leadership, Maple Leaf Farms established the Sernade processing facility some 45 years ago. Since then, the farm has grown to an annual duck production somewhere between 9-12 million. Wentzel's grandsons and Tucker's sons, Scott and John, were named co-presidents of Maple Leaf Farms in 2001. Their official website applauds the owners of the farm - the Tucker family, for having "carried on [Wentzel's] vision for more than 60 years with the help of a great team who shares their values that are centered around the importance of family, fun and creative meal experiences."

Representational photo (d3sign/Getty Images)

Wentzel's grandson Scott "now heads up Operations, Quality Assurance, Live Production, Distribution & the National Duck Council. He is also part of our Board of Directors. Scott graduated with a BS in management from Purdue University and an MBA from University of Wisconsin- Madison. Scott and his wife, Wende, are parents to Zach & Alli," says the website. John, who "heads up Sales & Marketing, HR, R&D, IT, Business Ventures & our China Division," is also part of their Board of Directors. "John studied Restaurant & Hotel Management and Psychology at Purdue University. John and his wife, Maria, are parents to Olivia, Jack & Julia."

Both Terry, and his wife Sandra Tucker -- Wentzel's daughter -- are still active members presiding over the Maple Leaf Farms. They are CEO and chairman, and vice chairman of the board respectively.

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