July 2011/Prepared Foods -- Especially in tougher economic times, consumers want and crave comfort foods. Items such as tacos, chili and meat-topped pizzas are enjoyed by many, because they are tasty and easy on the pocketbook. A line of cooked, ready-to-use meat ingredients helps operators expand the list of foods they can safely and conveniently present in foodservice.

Burke Corporation, a manufacturer of high-quality, pre-cooked meats and pizza toppings, provides beef, pork and poultry products that “are manufactured with validated cooking and cooling processes, traceability programs, state-of-the-art facilities and continuous training, all of which help us ensure products that are safe and free of pathogens,” explains Liz Hertz, marketing director, Burke Corporation. For example, Premoro® Cooked Beef Crumbles can be used in applications that include chili, soups, pizza, tacos, breakfast dishes, pasta entrees and casseroles. The product offers consistency in look, size, flavor and food safety, since it is fully cooked. End-users need only to open a bag, never worrying about the food safety issues of working with raw meats, and pour out just the right amount of recipe-ready product.

The company also offers a line of fully cooked Hand-Pinched style® sausage, pork and beef toppings for premium applications, which mimic the authentic, craggy-style appearance characteristic of raw meat. Other product offerings include sausage and pork toppings, Mexican-style meats, chorizo crumbles, andouille, chicken strips, shredded meats, gyro beef topping, organic and natural meat toppings, child nutrition products and more. In short, the company offers meat ingredients that will fill just about any manufacturing need. “Burke Corporation’s expertise, responsiveness and flexible manufacturing capabilities allow us to fully customize a product with quick turnaround to meet a company’s production schedule and timeline,” adds Hertz.

The company’s custom formulation capabilities include R&D services. “We’re committed to meeting all your product requirements and exceeding your expectations. From project definition through development, our cross-functional team of managers provides hands-on direction. Each year, Burke’s experienced R&D group develops numerous samples of unique toppings, fillings, meatballs, shredded meats and more. And, our sample turnaround time and product approval rate are some of the best in the industry,” states Hertz. (See chart for information on a few of Burke’s products and applications.)

The company also is expert in flexible manufacturing. “Manufacturing and changeover capabilities ensure maximum flexibility in run size and product options, such as size and shape. Our minimums meet the needs of smaller growth companies,” says Hertz. This dovetails especially with premium or upscale products, where the meat must have the consistently good appearance and taste a specialty product requires.pf