Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenge. Discussion »
PINE RIDGE, SOUTH DAKOTA Last Friday, May 4, Indian Health Service had the Sioux Nation Superstore close down its meat department after it discovered the grocer was selling outdated meat. A customer of the store complained after discovering spoiled ground beef and called the tribal health and human services committee, which, in turn called in Indian Health Service.
Sioux Nation Superstore Empty Meat Department
Every tenth day of the month is food stamp day on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Today is the tenth and the Sioux Nation Superstore in Pine Ridge will be back selling fresh meat, which was not the case when it was ordered to stop selling meat.
Sioux Nation Superstore is the only moderate-sized grocery store on Pine Ridge. The next closest grocery store is in Rapid City, some 120 miles away. Sioux Nation Superstore is operated by Cohn Wholesale Fruit and Grocery, Inc., based in San Diego, California. It leases the store from the Oglala Sioux Nation.
The Tribe's Health & Human Services Committee determined the grocer could resume meat sales.
Sioux Nation Superstore sells Shurfine and Shurfresh brand grocery items. Its website touts "Quality Meat" with the following statement:
“We have a wide selection of beef, pork and chicken. Our meat is fresh and our prices are great. Stop by today to explore our meat selection.”
Store personnel told the Native News Network that they were instructed not to speak to the media. However, the Native News Network was referred to Aaron Cohn and given the telephone number of Cohn Wholesale Fruit and Grocery. Cohn was traveling on Wednesday and did not return the call to the Native News Network.
Tribal members not comfortable going on the record, because as one individual stated, "I have to live here," were reluctant to give direct quotes relating to the meat department closure.
“I understand they have a history of selling outdated meat. They repackage and change the date so they can sell it,”
reported one source.
“I understand there was a rump roast with an April 15 expiration date that was discovered and some packaged bologna that expired in March was still there,”
said one unidentified tribal member.
“The prices are ridiculously high. For instance a can of Spam is double there from what you would pay at Walmart.”
After a meeting on Tuesday with tribal officials from the Tribe's Health & Human Services Committee, Indian Health Service and the store manager, it was determined the grocer could resume meat sales. So on Wednesday, the store was restocking its meat counter with fresh meat - just in time for food stamp day.
posted May 10, 2012 7:50 am edt