Jack Link Stands By His Jerky: A Study in Economics in America.

Since the beef jerky incident of 2009, I have been thrust into the maelstrom of the jerky universe.  It is a dark and mysterious world of danger and intrigue, not unlike that of Casablanca, minus the Nazis and roulette.  You can never be too careful in this world and one mistake could be deadly.  I came down pretty hard on Mr. Jack Link, but today I am here to set the record straight.


Times are tough.  Everyone’s money is hard earned and everyone should get what they pay for.  That’s why when I got a moldy bag of Jack Link’s Beef Jerky, I had to let them know.  I was, as usual, a bit tongue in cheek.  I know my complaint letter was over the top, but the point was honest.  To exchange my $6 for some beef jerky should be simple and satisfying.  Any good company would want to know what happened and make good.

Jack Link’s is a good company.  Within an hour, they had read the blog and contacted me.  A very nice woman named Nancy reached out and wanted to discuss what had happened.  There is some level of silliness involved when you have conversation about beef jerky, but I am confident Nancy and I got through it fine.  For one, I learned that what happened was a small puncture in the bag.  This makes sense in my 6th grade scientific mind.  A case designed to keep mold out would be ideal for breeding mold if it was punctured and moisture was allowed in.  I was assured this was a rare situation, but I figured that anyway.  You don’t become the fastest-growing beef jerky brand in the good old U-S-of-A for not making good products.

They are based in a town called Minong, Wisconsin where there aren’t even stop lights.  Jack Link is a real guy who learned the family recipes and still wears the white coat, checking all his products.  Even cooler, his father’s name was Wolf.  That my friends, is straight up bad-ass.  Wolf taught his son Jack how to make jerky.  They have been doing it for generations.  I had no idea the roots of this company.  Nancy and Jack and company seem like really good people.

They are replacing the errant bag of jerky and tossing us here at Lost Angeles a few samples so we can check out what else they have to offer.  That’s how we do things in America.  We do our best.  If we mess up, we make it right.  That’s the way it is supposed to work and as far as Jack Link’s is concerned, they are doing things the right way and they care about their customers and stand behind their product.

Of course a bad batch of jerky is not a world-crushing event.  Yes, I could afford to buy another bag of jerky.  This had nothing to do with any of that.  This had to do with keeping companies in check in trying times.  This was about making sure corners are not cut.  Jack Link’s did not cut corners and they were motivated to prove it.  As I told Nancy on the phone, it was not about getting a hand out.  It was just about knowing a company takes pride in it’s work.  If we all take pride in what we do and hold other people accountable for messing up, we’ll fix the economy and go back to a time when MADE IN THE USA meant totally awesome and worth a little more money.

I look forward to my replacement bag, but in reality, I already got what I wanted.  I got piece of mind that in the great midwest people are making something they care about and standing behind it.  Anyone can make a mistake, but good companies  make good on those mistakes.

Thanks to Nancy and Jack and everyone up there in Wisconsin for reading the blog and reaching out.  I wish you best of luck going forward.



Filed under Products and Advertising

15 responses to “Jack Link Stands By His Jerky: A Study in Economics in America.

  1. Pingback: Jack Link Stands By His Jerky: A Study in Economics in America … | Study Abroad Education Links

    • Lynn

      Dude.. are you kidding!! They are on a downward spiral. They are buying questionable beef from South America! The only thing I learned in business class and it is the life cycle of a product…they are on the way out!!! You need to wonder, sorry, worry about what your eating! When a business worrys more about how many chains they are in versus the quality of the product…it’s done! THEY SELL TO SAMS FOR LESS THAN THEY SELL TO THEIR DISTRIBUTORS!!!!!!
      Who sells out like that but whores! It’s only another 4 to 6 months until your eating lips and assholes….picture that in your mind!!!???

  2. Denise

    Hello, I came across your blog because, on Friday, February 7, 2011, I purchased three bags of Jack Links beef jerky, 2 teriyaki and 1 original. Well, long story short, my son ate most of the teriyaki jerky in the bag before noticing that there was green furry mold on most of the jerky in the bottom of the bag. I am disgusted and upset that the bag was even on the shelf. I did return the item for a refund, and called Jack Link’s Consumer Relations, but all they said was thank you for letting them know and they will send me some coupons. Ummm..no thank you. You wrote this blog in 2009, well, apparently there is still a problem with the manufacturing of the product. Jack Link’s please fix the problem.

    • Anonymous

      That’s because this guy is cheap and they made him feel like an asshole. He’s only posting this to rectify his pettiness. I mean, he has a blog. He has to talk about trivial shit.

      • Zack Jerome

        yes, the blogger is quite a petty and trivial person. much less revered in society than the man who posts negative comments to blogs during work hours from an anonymous name. I wish I were one of them.

  3. AB2690ziil

    DUDE this literally just happened to me yesterday. I bought a bag of the terriyaki matador jerky. I ate a piece tasted funny, took a bite of another one and immediately spit it out. I’ve had the jerky before this did not taste like it, this tastes horrible. I examine the pieces and found fuzzy greyish white mold and felt sick. I threw up less than 5 minutes later the sight of the mold was stomach churning. Anyways called the customer hotline. Twice the next day. Second time was when I threw up again the next day! I don’t think it was a coincidence.

    I felt that it had to be taken up with the company directly. I love beef jerky and I’ve.never, never called a company to complain but this was too much. I never thought this would happen. Worst thing the 25th was the Eve of my 21st birthday that was ruined and the next day wasn’t fun either. I need more than a refund. I need my faith restored also. I was disturbed at the amount of content regarding moldy Jack links jerky online.


    So freaking disturbed right now. July 8, 2011 bought a bag of Jack Link jerky. Hubby and I had a little midnight snack in the dark as we watched a show. He asked if it tasted a lil funny and I said “yeah. this new flavor isnt very good” We tried another piece and decided the new flavor was nasty. He was sick the next day and so was I. Today he brings me the bag and shows me that many pieces are COVERED in MOLD! Turns out the new flavor is MOLD!!!! I have never seen anything like it!!!! I am going to make a blog about it. I am so grossed out no wonder we have both had stomach aches the last day and a half. Wth? I cant even believe it.

  5. Lauren

    My husband and I just had the same thing that happened to you, Zack. A nasty, green mold on our Jack Link’s jerky. You talked in the original post about your possible future children not being able to come into the world if the jerky had killed you (I loved the part about coming back as a ghost). Well luckily for my actual unborn child, my husband noticed the mold and stopped me just as my teeth started to sink into the jerky. If I had eaten the mold and gotten as sick as some of these people did… I just cannot imagine. And all because of a dried strip of meat.
    I do agree that it seems they made an effort to make things right for you, but not everyone is a good writer and can grasp the attention of a large company.
    We all should be sure to check expiration dates, but to have to check for mold… that is pathetic, yet obviously the case for this product.

    • Zack Jerome

      side note, great email name

      • Lauren

        Thanks 😉 … though I thought that would be kept secret from everyone. Either way I honestly don’t. Wait does this mean you got the Anonymous persons Email?! God you really ripped him a new one! Hilarious.

  6. Erick

    Just bought 3 of the Jack Links beef steaks. Two were moldy. Worst part is that I have bought their products for years and tasted the same “off” flavor in their jerkey before and just ate it. They haven’t fixed anything. A quick internet search reveals this issue is much more than a rare bad batch. It’s been years since your original post and they still haven’t cleaned up their act. Jack Links has serious problems.

  7. Steve

    As I type this in the far future of 2013, I can say that in the past 2 months, I have encountered no fewer than 7 moldy “premium cuts” beef jerky strips. After my initial 3 complaints to the shop, all packages of offending strips were removed and replaced with new packages. However, the problem still persists.

    This appears to be far from an isolated incident, and I can’t say I feel much like giving Jack Link’s any more of my money at this point. I could see one mold issue, possibly even several from the same package – maybe something was wrong with the packaging for them, or it was just a freak occurrence. But when it spans 4 different varieties of flavors, from multiple packages, over multiple months, I cannot help but wonder WHAT is going on over at Jack Link’s.

  8. Gina

    I came to this site trying to find out if it Made in the USA. My package of Turkey Jerky said packaged in the USA. I think I am returning. It’s probably from china like the dog treats that kill dogs.

  9. Leon

    Bought two bags of Jack links today one sweet and Hot the other Carne Seca trhe sweet and Hot had molded pieces which I did not discover until i had already digested several non molded pieces. Immediately called their costumer services, and was offered some coupons. I’m honestly more concerned about my health than eating anymore of their Jerky. No regurgitation yet.

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