VA store owner accused of selling bad meat, dumpster diving

Posted at 6:55 PM, Aug 10, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-10 18:56:04-04

FRONT ROYAL, Va. — A Virginia store owner is accused of not just selling expired meat, but dumpster diving to get it.

Rodney Sparks owns the “Scratch and Dent Discount Store” in Front Royal, VA.
He sells what commercial businesses throw away because boxes are damaged or the meat’s “sell by” date is about to expire.

Inspectors say they found the meat in his store to be “freezer-burned, putrid, decomposed, unsound, and unhealthful.” But Sparks says the inspectors don’t know what they’re doing.

“I eat the food that I sell,” Sparks says. “I mean, I sell milk for $3.50 a gallon. It’s current. It’s fresh. I don’t hide any dates from anybody and I stand behind it. I’m not interested in getting rich. I want to help people.”

Court papers say grocery employees once saw Sparks removing food from a dumpster.
As for that accusation, Sparks says he was dumpster diving, but only for dozens of rescue cats he takes care of at his Maryland home.

Sparks faces 10 counts of selling bad meat.