Largest meatball set world record by Glen Oaks Community College

CENTREVILLE A world-record attempt staged Monday at Glen Oaks Community College had the atmosphere of a tailgate party and the anticipation of a New Year’s Eve countdown.

In the end, officials from the Centreville-area school were confident a world record was set in the form of a 254-pound meatball. The attempt for largest meatball ended about 100 pounds less than organizers of the feat had planned, but they’re cautiously optimistic a new record stands.

I guess we learned that anything can happen when you try to set a world record, and if we fell short, I think I speak for a lot of people when I say we had a great time trying,said Lester Keith, a business professor at the college and a key part of the group that worked on the potential record-setting feat.

The mass of ground chuck was cooked in a wok-like pan and sealed inside an oven bag for about 32 hours, as its core hit the 160-degree mark around 5:30 p.m. Monday.
St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Tim Schuler was awarded the first bite and he gave the cooks a positive report.

It was perfectly seasoned  a nice taste, he said.

A number of participants remarked that it tasted like meatloaf.

Schuler and Wagoner were appointed the two officials Guinness representatives said would be needed to verify the event and that appropriate steps were taken to comply with the record book’s criteria.

The 30-pound portion removed from the core was reheated to a safe serving temperature, sliced into sandwich-size pieces and delivered to a St. Joseph County-based soup kitchen, Keith said. In all, the meatball yielded more than 600 sandwiches.

He said the final tally did not include the core piece removed nor did it include outer layer pieces that were too charred to eat.

At 254 pounds, the potential record-setting meatball is 32.5 pounds heavier than the current record-holder, set last year by Nonni’s Italian Eatery. Organizers had started out with 400 pounds of meat and additives, and were aiming for a 350-pound meatball.

Organizers of the event said a community outpouring of donations and support contributed to the success of the event. Keith said he expects word in the next month from Guinness officials, who will verify whether the community college's attempt is, indeed, a world record.

Dennis McCarthy, dean of students and the college official who ultimately OK’d the attempt, said he shudders to think what sort of record Keith, business professor Bill Furr and their peers may attempt to set next year.

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