Meat Traceability Software at Praseks!

Prasek’s Hillje Smokehouse uses the SG Systems Meat Traceability Software to aid their expansion to new frontiers: literally to outer space! Jerry Nanson interviews Mike Prasek about his decade long relationship with SG Systems Global and their Recipe Tracking Software implementation.

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Prasek’s Hillje Smokehouse is a traditional, family business in El Campo, TX which provides some of the best sausage, jerky and other delectable foods to Texans and to consumers across the U.S. Prasek’s has been pleasing customers for more than 40 years and once you taste their sausage, you’re hooked. While their products are traditional, their food production processes take advantage of the latest technology to ensure the highest level of consistency and food safety for their wholesale and retail customers.

Meat Traceability Software | Recipe Tracking Software | Meat Scale

I had the opportunity to speak with Mike Prasek, Jr. about their business and about how they take advantage of SG Systems Meat Traceability Software and cradle-to-grave Lot Traceability to enhance their ability to provide great products to their customers:

Mike, can you give me a little background on Prasek’s: who founded Prasek’s, when was Prasek’s founded and a brief history?

Prasek’s was founded in 1974 by my mom and dad…in the small town of Hillje as a grocery store, feed store, meat market, saloon…no air conditioning; in the early ‘80’s we started the meat processing business, added the grocery side and the prep side of the business…since that time it’s grown to over 200 employees, 700 plus wholesale accounts…in the next 3 to 4 months we will open our doors to the snack protein business and a new retail location on I10 in Sealy Texas.

Mike, when did you get involved in the business?

I got involved in the business…actually, I started in the smokehouse at 9 years old…I got home from school at 4 or 5 o’clock and would start to work in our smokehouse…and our slaughterhouse…I became more involved in the business in ’88 or ’89 taking care of wholesale accounts in the Houston area, taking care of Randall’s, Rice [grocery store chains] and a few other’s in the Houston area. I jumped in with both feet in the business in the early 90’s both on the production and the wholesale side of the business.

As your role has grown in the business, what are the biggest changes you’ve seen in the business overall?

I would tell you, and this is across the industry, food safety is the biggest change that we’ve seen…back in the ‘70’s we had dirt floors and some in the area actually had sawdust on the floors…it’s a totally different environment today, the floors are 100% sealed…the food safety side is more challenging every day…food has to meet USDA/FSMA requirements to keep food safe.

What caused you to look for a meat traceability software solution?

Only 3 of us knew the recipes…me, my dad, and [another] gentleman…my concern was: as we grow, how do we control the recipes and keep them at a high standard, keep them current…and consistent…that was our first goal and was the initial reason we chose SG for our recipe tracking software (meat traceability software); we had to make sure that we kept the original recipes & developed new products that were consistent.

Meat Traceability Software | Recipe Tracking Software

We had to be able to make the recipes easy to understand and follow [for employees], when when we weren’t on site. We had to be present always, since the recipes were only committed to memory.

What role does lot traceability play in your day-to-day operations and how do you use that capability in SG Systems?

Since we started making store own brands for large retailers…and our brand…traceability was [critical]…there are two sides to traceability: one side is the need to have traceability [of every ingredient] for food safety and to manage recalls if they become necessary; traceability is also necessary for recipe control and [and product consistency] so as we deliver [finished product] to the stores I can actually see everything that goes to each customer and determine what is happening out in the field; traceability is necessary for food safety but it’s also important to manage the results in the field.

Have the extensive traceability features in SG Systems enabled Prasek’s to pursue business that you otherwise couldn’t pursue?

It helps us sell our business when I can sit down in front of a potential customer and explain the [detailed level of traceability] that we have with the system, the accuracy and the depth of detail [for every ingredient] that we can provide, it makes for an easier sale…it’s [important] both for a retailer’s brand and our own brand to be able to show a large retailer…like HEB…if they have a question about ingredients or product consistency…to be able to show them every ingredient’s history (using the Meat Traceability Software), down to the bags [we use for packaging]. It gives them confidence in the product and limits exposure.

Prasek’s seems to be growing at a rapid pace, from what I’m observing, what’s driving that growth?

The Prasek brand over the last several years has expanded beyond just the region…we have more customers that know us across the United States and they [request our brand from their retailer]; also our reputation for a quality product, if a retailer wants us to make…say a protein pack…they know that we have a reputation for making the best product; the brand recognition that we’ve developed over the past 10 or 15 years has been what has driven our growth to [today’s levels].

Which states have retailers that carry Prasek’s products?

California, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama…plus we have jerky, sausage, spices that are sold [online & mail-order] to customers nationwide, plus…how should I say it…our jerky is out of this world…we’ve had our jerky taken up into space.

Are you saying that your jerky is eaten at the international space station?

Yes, our jerky has been taken up all the way to the international space station.

I bet that’s interesting trying to ship it, somehow, I suspect that it’s hand-carried.

Yes, that’s it, hand-carried.

Mike, do you think that using SG Meat Traceability Software to control your product consistency has played a role in your expansion across the country?

SG System’s recipe tracking and Meat Traceability Software has played a big role in managing our product quality which has definitely helped our growth; having SG’s Meat Traceability Software and a strong staff has made our product quality and consistency easier…not easy…but easier to manage…I don’t think we could effectively run our operations today without pieces in place like SG Systems Recipe Tracking Software to help us make that happen V5 Traceability.

Mike, I made the mistake of buying some of your sausage the last time I was at your store and I’ve become addicted, it’s almost criminal and I’m in trouble with my wife because of it, what is the secret to making such a great product?

If you want to make good sausage or any good product, it starts with the raw materials. You have to start with the best quality beef and pork, consistent, good quality spices like garlic and even the salt and pepper…no fillers only good quality materials…it’s only going to be as good as the raw materials going into it.

Mike, I appreciate the time you’ve taken for this interview, do you have anything else you would like to mention before we wrap up?

I’d like to mention that we have more capacity coming online in the next few months and we will be looking for new customers for [co-manufacturing] to help utilize that capacity…we’ll be able to produce the same kind of quality products for their brands that we produce today for our other customers with the confidence created by our Meat Traceability System of course!.

Meat Traceability Software FAQ’s

  1. What is Meat Traceability Software? Meat Traceability Software is a specialized solution designed to track and manage the journey of meat products from farm to fork. It ensures transparency and accountability in the meat supply chain by recording detailed information about each product’s origin, processing, and distribution.

  2. How does Meat Traceability Software enhance food safety? This software enhances food safety by providing detailed tracking and documentation of meat products throughout the supply chain. This facilitates quick response to food safety incidents and helps in effectively managing recalls, if necessary.

  3. What kind of businesses can benefit from Meat Traceability Software? Any business involved in the meat processing and distribution industry, including slaughterhouses, meat processors, wholesalers, retailers, and food service providers, can benefit from implementing Meat Traceability Software.

  4. Can the software be integrated with existing systems? Yes, Meat Traceability Software is typically designed to be compatible with existing systems and can be integrated with other enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply chain management tools.

  5. Does the software support regulatory compliance? The software is designed to help businesses comply with various food safety regulations and standards, such as the USDA, FDA, and global food safety standards, by maintaining thorough records and enabling traceability throughout the supply chain.

  6. How does Meat Traceability Software contribute to consumer trust? By providing transparent and verifiable information about the origin and handling of meat products, this software helps build consumer trust in the brand and ensures customers about the quality and safety of the products they are purchasing.

  7. What features are commonly found in Meat Traceability Software? Common features include batch tracking, ingredient traceability, quality control checks, recall management, production recording, and detailed reporting capabilities.

  8. Is the software scalable for different business sizes? Meat Traceability Software is generally scalable and can be customized to suit the needs of businesses of various sizes, from small local butchers to large meat processing companies.

  9. How does the software handle data security? These systems are equipped with robust data security features to protect sensitive information related to the supply chain and ensure compliance with data protection regulations.

  10. Can Meat Traceability Software assist in inventory management? The software typically includes inventory management features, helping businesses track stock levels, manage expiry dates, and optimize inventory turnover.

  11. How does the software impact operational efficiency? By automating many of the tracking and documentation processes, the software improves operational efficiency, reduces manual errors, and saves time.

  12. Does the software provide analytics and reporting capabilities? Yes, it usually includes analytics and reporting tools that provide insights into supply chain operations, helping businesses make data-driven decisions.

  13. How user-friendly is Meat Traceability Software? These systems are generally designed with user-friendly interfaces to ensure ease of use for all staff members, regardless of their technical expertise.

  14. Can the software track meat products across international borders? Yes, it is capable of tracking meat products across international borders, aiding in compliance with various international trade and food safety regulations.

  15. Does Meat Traceability Software support sustainability initiatives? By ensuring efficient and responsible supply chain management, the software can support businesses in their sustainability and ethical sourcing initiatives.

  16. How does the software facilitate recall management? In the event of a product recall, the software allows businesses to quickly trace and identify affected products, thereby minimizing the impact and ensuring prompt response.

  17. Can the software be used for quality control processes? Yes, it can be used to document and manage quality control processes, ensuring that meat products meet required standards and specifications.

  18. How does the software handle different meat products and cuts? The software is versatile and can handle a wide range of meat products and cuts, with customizable features to suit specific product types.

  19. What kind of support and training is available for implementing the software? Providers typically offer comprehensive support and training services to ensure smooth implementation and adoption of the software.

  20. Is the Meat Traceability Software regularly updated? To keep up with changing industry standards and technological advancements, the software is regularly updated, ensuring that businesses always have access to the latest features and capabilities.

For more information on Praseks Hillje Smokehouse, visit their website at

For more information on V5 Meat Traceability Software, visit


Meat Traceability System