Birko was founded in 1953 by Ward and Florence Smith in their garage in Ogden, Utah. The first Birko products were an alkaline cleaner and a wash for cleaning and whitening edible tripe. Tripe Wash is still manufactured in several formulations for use in federally-inspected meat plants.
The Smiths soon relocated Birko to Denver in order to better serve the greater number of large meatpacking plants in the area. In 1979, Birko built an 18,000 square foot facility in Westminster, Colo. In 1992, Birko moved slightly north to Henderson, Colo., and built a 62,000 sq. foot facility in for its Class II pathogen laboratory and research labs, chemical manufacturing, warehouse and home office.
Ward Smith died in 1977 and Florence Smith took over as President and CEO at that time. Ward and Florence’s granddaughter, Kelly Green, now serves as chairman of the board and third-generation owner of Birko.
Birko has expanded its product offerings from Tripe Wash and laundry bleach to include a wide range of specialty chemical formulations including specialty cleaners and sanitizers, and processing and rendering agents. Over 100 of Birko’s formulations are USDA approved and many are EPA registered. Most of Birko’s products are biodegradable, while meeting the high performance standards of the food industry. Birko manufactures its own line of chemical dispensing equipment and also does custom chemical blending for diverse applications.
Birko’s equipment division, Chad Equipment, LLC, specializes in the design and manufacture of USDA-approved washing and pasteurizing equipment. Birko also has a line of chemical dispensing equipment and sources related equipment from reputable companies specializing in food plant sanitation and processing.Chad provides service and support for its harvesting and processing equipment including scheduled servicing, monitoring equipment, appropriate maintenance verification and documentation.