The Auburn University Lambert-Powell Meats Laboratory is a state-of-the-art teaching, researching and extensions facility supporting a variety of activities in the Department of Animal Sciences.
Home to several undergraduate courses that utilize it each semester for demonstrations and hands-on labs, students conduct research in the areas of meat procession, food safety and meat quality within this building.
The lab is a fully functional inspected facility under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service. Not only does it train USDA personnel, but it also has a retail department where local hand-cut meats are put up for sale.
Barney Wilborn, manager of the Lambert-Powell Meats Laboratory, spoke about how the lab is still catering to students’ needs safely during the pandemic.
“The inside of the store is not open to the public as of right now for the safety of everyone, but we are hosting online sales almost weekly available for purchase to the public and students,” Wilborn said.
Online sales launch Tuesday afternoons and stay active until Thursday at noon, unless the lab sells out before then. Wilborn said those wanting to be aware of sales may contact him via email.
“Students can get first dibs on the sales by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org and join the email list, where they will get emails from the AU Meat Lab when the sales first launch,” Wilborn said.
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The online sales are in the form of boxes that include a variety of different meats, sizes and costs. One sale this week is a small box which includes eight pork chops, two New York strip steaks, 12 ounces of bacon, 1.5 pounds of smoked sausage, 2 pounds of ground beef and 2 pounds of pork sausage. Customers can purchase the box for $54.50 with tax.
The lab also offers large boxes with greater quantities of meat. This week’s large box features two ribeyes, two New York strip steaks, seven pounds of ground beef, 12 ounces of bacon, 1.5 pounds of smoked sausage, a Boston Butt approximately 4.5 pounds, eight pork chops and 3 pounds of pork sausage for $119.00 with tax.
The email students receive includes all the boxes available that week as well as prices, and it will allow them to sign up for a pickup time to get their box on Fridays.
“Some meats within the boxes change weekly, but we try to keep the price within the same range, so that people know what to expect each week before the sale launches,” Wilborn said. “Back by demand, [we have] premium ribeye steak boxes, premium New York strip boxes, and premium filet steak boxes this week in addition to large and small meat boxes.”
The ribeye steak box includes six 12–14 ounce streaks for $65.00. A New York strip steak box includes six 11–13 ounce steaks for $54.00, and a filet steak box includes six 7–9 ounce steaks for $63.00.
Wilborn encourages those interested in the meat lab’s sales to visit its Facebook page, “AU Meat Lab,” as well as emailing him, as the lab has not received the green light from the University to reopen its physical store.
“I hope we can open up to the public soon, but our main priority is the health and safety of the public and the students and trying to get the students back in class safely,” Wilborn said.
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