John Munsell

Photo of John Munsell

John Munsell ran a USDA-inspected meat plant for 34 years, which had been in the family for 59 years. Raised in Miles City, Montana and educated at Montana State University in Bozeman, MT, John returned to the family business subsequent to employment at Continental Oil and Target Stores. Having sold the business in 2005, John subsequently opened a deli/bakery at a local retail grocery store, and is currently employed by Miles Community College as a Biofuels/Renewable Energy Coordinator. Married, with two daughters and six grandchildren, John's passionate focus has been to reveal institutionalized shortcomings in USDA's deregulated meat inspection program, and to protect the rights of small plants to remain in business in the absence of unethical government enforcement actions.

Latest Articles

Editor’s note: Last week we concluded a series by John Munsell that explained how his small meat plant in Miles City, MT, ran afoul of USDA’s meat inspection practices. John asked us to post one more article as a coda to his saga. After my meat plant recalled 270 pounds of ground beef potentially contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 in January, 2002, someone notified me that a lawyer in Seattle had posted the U.S. Department…
Editor’s Note: This is the ninth and final installment in a series written by John Munsell of Miles City, MT, who explains how the small meat plant his family owned for 59 years ran afoul of USDA’s meat inspection program. The events he writes about began a decade ago, but remain relevant today. The primary focus of this narrative is the bigger picture, which is the current style of meat non-inspection concocted by the USDA…
Editor’s Note: This is the eighth installment in a series written by John Munsell of Miles City, MT, who explains how the small meat plant his family owned for 59 years ran afoul of USDA’s meat inspection program. The events he writes about began a decade ago, but remain relevant today. The Food Safety and Inspection Service’s justification for saying I could not lower the temperature inside my processing room to 45 degrees was that…
Editor’s Note: This is the seventh installment in a series written by John Munsell of Miles City, MT, who explains how the small meat plant his family owned for 59 years ran afoul of USDA’s meat inspection program. The events he writes about began a decade ago, but remain relevant today. Back in full swing again, authorized to grind under the Mark of Inspection, I questioned the wisdom of my going public, which would fully…
Editor’s Note: This is the sixth installment in a series written by John Munsell of Miles City, MT, who explains how the small meat plant his family owned for 59 years ran afoul of USDA’s meat inspection program. The events he writes about began a decade ago, but remain relevant today. How does our industry respond to the issues of E. coli O157:H7-laced meat, sicknesses and deaths?  For one, we demand, “Show me the graves!” …
Editor’s Note: This is the fifth installment in a series written by John Munsell of Miles City, MT, who explains how the small meat plant his family owned for 59 years ran afoul of USDA’s meat inspection program. The events he writes about began a decade ago, but remain relevant today. On Oct. 12, 2002, Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, doing business as Wampler Foods Inc., recalled 27.4 million pounds of fresh and frozen ready-to-eat turkey and…
Editor’s Note: This is the fourth installment in a series written by John Munsell of Miles City, MT, who explains how the small meat plant his family owned for 59 years ran afoul of USDA’s meat inspection program. The events he writes about began a decade ago, but remain relevant today. In May 2005, Dr. Gary Acuff, a microbiologist who heads Texas A & M’s animal science department, conducted a closely controlled scientific study on…
Editor’s Note:  This is the third installment in a series written by John Munsell of Miles City, MT, who explains how the small meat plant his family owned for 59 years ran afoul of USDA’s meat inspection program. The events he writes about began a decade ago, but remain relevant today. On June 30, 2002, after my grinder had been shut down for four months, ConAgra’s plant in Greeley, CO, recalled 354,200 pounds of beef…
Editor’s Note:  This is the second installment in a series written by John Munsell of Miles City, MT, who explains how the small meat plant his family owned for 59 years ran afoul of USDA’s meat inspection program. The events he writes about began a decade ago, but remain relevant today. Prior to discussing negotiations in the following months between FSIS enforcement officials and my plant, I must describe FSIS meat inspection policies in existence…
Editor’s Note:  This is the first part in a series written by John Munsell of Miles City, MT, who explains how the small meat plant his family owned for 59 years ran afoul of USDA’s meat inspection program. The events he writes about began a decade ago, but remain relevant today. They say that confession is good for the soul.  I’ve been involved in a series of ugly events since my plant in 2002 recalled 270 pounds…