Do you want 100% accurate & rapid meat processing?
Low cost meat packing solutions for inventory, traceability, meat packing compliance.  Control entire meat packing process, orders, labels, export & export documentation. 

Brochure:  [Meat packing] 

App for meat packing, slaughterhouse, livestock processing, meat packing & labeling.

Manage entire livestock slaughter, kill box, weigh box, head removal, evisceration, carcass inspection, government animal testing, processing into sides and further processing, packing, labelling, and meat export documentation and invoices.   Full meat quality control, and meat food safety & traceability. 

Accurate production reduces errors

Process, bone, and pack the exact quantity at the exact specification from customers, schedule lots for orders, automatic boning station specification sheets (on-screen or print), production recorded as it happens to maximise accuracy.

Every order filled and dispatched accurately, on time

Scan pallets onto orders, or allow farmsoft to suggest which inventory should be on an order using FIFO. This process ensures the exact meat product is sent to every customer on time, every time.

Precise inventory for less meat waste

Reduces waste through better FIFO management, stock-takes, accurate order picking & shipping, meat ageing management, and inventory alerts.

Efficient livestock deliveries saves time

Increase the efficiency of livestock deliveries using options like scanning incoming bar-codes/RFID or one click data entry to save time and reduce errors.

Reduce meat waste by 99%

Inventory control ensures there is no 'shrinkage', food inventory is FIFO managed, and expiring inventory always monitored.

Reduce administration time by 60%

Automatic paperwork, labels, and reporting reduces the burden on administration teams and saves everyone's time.

Better meat quality now

Quality control and food safety has never been easier with industry standard quality tests, food safety checklists; or configure your own tests. 

100% accurate meat orders!

Guarantee only the correct meat inventory is shipped for each order, on time, every time.

Consistent quality control for maximum meat yield

Guarantee the quality of sides and cuts with flexible quality control testing systems. Capture customer complaints & feedback, monitor livestock supplier performance, instant quality alerts across the business.

Reduce meat packing & meat processing compliance costs

Rapidly generate correct (official marks approved) labels and export documents.  Automatic traceability, and instant audit & recall systems reduce on-going compliance costs. 

Faster meat inventory

Know exactly which inventory is available, where it is, and when it expires:  any-time, anywhere.

Easier work order management

Rapidly assign customer orders to meat production batches, line & inventory managers receive instant alerts.  Precision processing & packing reduces meat waste.

Complete business management app for meat packing and animal processing businesses with industry specific reporting and tools.    Farmsoft comes with full project implementation management, training, and support solutions to deliver a fully tailored meat processing & meat packing solution that matches your exact business requirements and delivers maximum efficiency, reduces waste, and provides automatic traceability.

Livestock & inventory

Manage incoming livestock in unlimited pens; all animals issued tracking number, print / email livestock delivery receipt. Manage packaging (crates, cartons, labels, bags), receive alerts when inventory needs re-ordering.   Inventory audit trail and tracking.  Unlimited inventory items. Bar-code inventory management.


Perform stock-takes any time by category or storage location.  Know how much inventory (livestock, sides, finished product, and packaging materials) you have in real time, even search by storage location.  Report by product line and storage location or rail, or product category.  Manage the meat ageing process and ensure correct aged meat is provided for each customer.  

Animal processing

Use inexpensive tablet terminals so each team member can see where they are in the processing stage and rapidly record data for their tasks regardless of position in processing chain (weigh box, knock box, head removal, evisceration, inspection, further processing, retain rail, scale, packaging, shipping and export).

Sales, shipping,  orders

Print pick sheet to pick meat orders manually, or scan inventory / pallets onto orders, or auto select inventory,  or rapidly sell without an order.  Track paid, and unpaid invoices.  Attach documents to invoices / photos of outgoing shipments.

Traceability & recalls

Instant mock recalls both up and down the supply chain tracks to livestock supplier, property, and establishment.  Recall using any key such as livestock supplier lot/batch, livestock supplier name, delivery date, invoice #, inventory # or animal number, RFID, pallet #, customer reference, order # and more..

Invoices, BOL, labels for pallets & inventory

Choose from a selection of export documentation, invoices, bill of lading, freight notes, and industry standard meat labels (HALAL, INSPECTED, EU) in all languages.   Our team will add new labels, export docs, and invoices if you have special requirements. 

Further meat processing

The production manager can use the Boning Spec screen to rapidly set the boning specification for each station / employee, each station can have an inexpensive tablet that displays their spec, and they can use voice control to skip to the next animal to ensure maximum meat processing efficiency and hygiene. 


View open meat orders & balances. Assign orders to specific staff for picking, assign to trucks / driver, transport company.  Set loading order for multiple orders on one truck.  See when orders are ready shipped and print bill of lading, export documents, and invoices. 

Quality control

Perform QC tests on incoming livestock, carcass sides, packed meat, on shipments pre-shipping / sealing of export containers. Configure QC tests for ANYTHING you want to test, including livestock supplier quality control tracking.  Attach unlimited photos & documents to QC tests from your cell or tablet.  

Broadcast messages

Broadcast messages to all boning stations, or show messages on individual processing stations (like kill box, evisceration, weigh box, etc...)

Low cost hardware & on-going costs

Use inexpensive generic hardware with farmsoft (save $150,000 implementation costs) and continue saving every year with lower I.T. maintenance costs (see brochure

Finance apps

Export invoices (AR) and Purchase Orders (AP) to your chosen finance app. If we don't support yours, let us know and we will add support.   

Meat grading
Meat grading segregates meat into different classes based on expected eating quality (e.g., appearance, tenderness, juiciness, and flavour) and expected yield of salable meat from a carcass. In contrast to meat-inspection procedures, meat-grading systems vary significantly throughout the world. These differences are due in large part to the fact that different countries have different meat quality standards. For example, in the United States cattle are raised primarily for the production of steaks and are fattened with high-quality grain feed in order to achieve a high amount of marbling throughout the muscles of the animal. High marbling levels are associated with meat cuts that are juicier, have more flavour, and are more tender. Therefore, greater marbling levels—and especially marbling that is finely textured and evenly distributed—improve the USDA quality grade (i.e., Prime, Choice, or Select) of the beef. However, in Australia cattle are raised primarily for the production of ground beef products, and the highest quality grades are given to the leanest cuts of meat.

Some of the characteristics of meat used to assess quality and assign grades include: conformation of the carcass; thickness of external fat; colour, texture, and firmness of the lean meat; colour and shape of the bones; level of marbling; flank streaking; and degree of leanness.

Retail meat cutting
In the American style of meat cutting, whole carcasses are usually fabricated into more manageable primal (major) or subprimal (minor) cuts at the packing plant. This preliminary fabrication eases meat merchandising by reducing variability within the cuts. Primal and subprimal cuts are usually packaged and sold to retailers that further fabricate them into the products that are seen in the retail case.

Hong Kong: meat vendor
Pork fabrication
Hogs are slaughtered at approximately 108 kilograms (240 pounds) and yield carcasses weighing approximately 76 kilograms (70 percent yield of live weight). Pork carcasses are usually divided into two sides before chilling, and each side is divided into four lean cuts plus other wholesale cuts. The four lean cuts are the ham, loin, Boston butt (Boston shoulder), and picnic shoulder.

cuts of pork
cuts of porkWholesale and retail cuts of pork.Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
Beef fabrication
Steers and heifers average 495 kilograms at slaughter and produce carcasses weighing 315 kilograms (63 percent yield of live weight). Beef carcasses are split into two sides on the slaughter floor. After chilling, each side is divided into quarters, the forequarter and hindquarter, between the 12th and 13th ribs. The major wholesale cuts fabricated from the forequarter are the chuck, brisket, foreshank, rib, and shortplate. The hindquarter produces the short loin, sirloin, rump, round, and flank.

cuts of beef; meat processing
cuts of beef; meat processingWholesale and retail cuts of beef.Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
Lamb fabrication
Live sheep averaging 45 kilograms yield 22-kilogram carcasses (50 percent yield of live weight). Lamb carcasses are divided into two halves, the foresaddle and hindsaddle, on the fabrication floor. The foresaddle produces the major wholesale cuts of the neck, shoulder, rib, breast, and foreshank. The hindsaddle produces the major wholesale cuts of the loin, sirloin, leg, and hindshank.

cuts of lamb; meat processing
cuts of lamb; meat processingWholesale and retail cuts of lamb.Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
Low initial investment and maintenance cost on equipment
Meatsys works on any device or operating system that simply have a recent web browser. It does not consume much system resources, and it is built with high stability. If you already have an installed system, Meatsys allows you to continue with your old system; that means, you do not need to pay for any operating system license or upgrades on the equipment. With some simple additions, you can turn your old system into Industry4.0 ready system with Meatsys.

Never stops production due to IT equipment failures
With Meatsys, you can replace nonfunctioning devices safely within a few minutes; or probably use the administration interface to push the operation forward to a nearby device without having to interrupt the entire production process.

Time is money, and we understand that device dependent systems could pose a threat to the entire production process. For this reason, we've designed a system which makes changing a label printer, computer, weighing scale or forwarding the operation to a nearby device on factory floor promptly. In fact, a simple tablet device can act in place of an advanced factory floor computer instantly.

Packing & Processing Software
Emydex’s Packing & Processing Software is currently operating in over 80 boning halls, filleting rooms and cutting plants operated by leading Meat, Fish and Food processors around the world including Ireland, the UK, mainland Europe, Africa, Australia & North America.

Having first gone live in 2006 in one of Ireland's largest beef and lamb processors Kepak Clonee, today our Packing & Processing software system is in daily operation in numerous Emydex client sites.

Packing & Processing
Benefits of our System
Flexible packing configurations
Pack to stock
Pack direct to sales orders
Palletize direct from packing
Reduce labor & increase efficiency with Automatic Case Labelling
Flexible “what you see is what you get” Label Designing software
Real-time packing reports and dashboards
Integrate to multiple scales and/or printers
Weigh Price Label Integration (Bizerba & Espera)
Capture outputs for Yield Reporting
Packing & Processing
System Features
Case Labelling
Pack Labelling
Bulk Label Printing
Rework Processing
Label Designer
Automatic Case Labelling
WPL Integration
Case Labelling
The Emydex case Labelling functionality is able to pack in many ways to suit your needs, choose to pack to sales orders, direct to pallets or direct to stocks. Configure different terminals in the factory to work differently as required.

Pack Labelling
The Emydex pack Labelling functionality allows customers to weigh individual packs of meat and apply labels. These packs can be allocated directly to a case to create stock.

Bulk Label Printing
The Emydex bulk label printing allows customers to print batches of case or pack/insert labels. This removes the need for other 3rd party printing applications to print labels and also reduces human error as all information is fed from Emydex.

Rework Processing
The Emydex rework processing allows customers to maintain traceability of reworked product and measure yields for this process.

Label Designer
Emydex use world-class label design and printing software – Nice label. The nice label software is fully embedded within the Emydex application which means end users can complete all label design tasks without leaving the Emydex application. Labels can be managed at a site level or using the Enterprise management system.

Automatic Case Labelling
Emydex system is able to integrate to automatic case Labelling machines to reduce labor and prevent operator error. Emydex can cater for different Automatic case labelling setups.

WPL Integration
Emydex system is able to integrate to weigh price Labelling machines to start and stop production jobs, including sending batch numbers, order quantities etc. Emydex is also able to control master data such as descriptions, allergens, dates, labels as well as receive processing statistics such as reject rates, efficiency etc. meaning customers can complete all production reporting in one system.

Designed for your industry
Our software modules
The Emydex suite of software includes a collection of independent standalone software modules designed to manage and control a particular stage of the Food Production Process e.g. Kill Line & Payments.

Each modules sits on top of the core platform, and can plug seamlessly into any other module. The full suite of modules cover all aspects of Food production from factory door-to-door.

Do it your way:
With the easy to use drag-and-drop user interface, Meatsys, allows you to create your personal processing stations and warehouses, design your own labels, connect your devices, set up your own recipe, your own protocols, etc. It's not compulsory you use the company's initial software setup. You are able to change the settings or add new production stations, warehouses, and devices, as it suits you for your emerging needs and opportunities. And if you wish we are also ready to perform these tasks for you.

Fully scalable system that adapts to any size and type of facility. All its modules cover all sizes of operation successfully. You only pay the modules and functionality you need. When you need to grow and add new modules, simply a license number will be given to you so that you can start using the new modules in no time.

meat packing app
Meat packing app
INDUSTRY 4.0 Ready
Meatsys was designed to get the all the available data from the factory floor automatically. We use barcode and RFID tags to identify the product, people, and devices. Including hooks, carts, crates and dollies. The system is also capable of integration with the sensors placed on the production spaces or storage rooms, which enables our customers to track the conditions of a products production process. All the carcasses passing through the weighing stations can be identified, and weight information can be sent to the database with the ID number of the carcass and time stamp. Also entering a processing station or exiting from a storage room is recorded with the ID of the hook. By reading the RFID tag on the hook.

Automation is another capability of the system; For example, If you already have an automated rail routing system in your factory, Meatsys can send the routing commands to the routers on the rails and forward the carcass hanging on the hook directly to the desired storage or processing room.

It’s got full equipment integration support
Meatsys supports different model and brand name of the scales, printers, and barcode scanners. However, if your equipment is not supported, we can integrate your device into Meatsys within the matter of a few hours.

Meatsys works with ERP Integrations
Meatsys is very simple and advanced; it can easily be integrated with any ERP, accounting or sales and distribution software in a few days, irrespective of the kind of system you use. We can also provide XML data for other systems that you may wish to integrate Meatsys into.

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Animal Receiving
Lairage management
Live weighing
RFID integration
Ante-mortem inspection
Carcass receiving
Carcass weighing and labeling
Raw material receiving
The function of the Procurement module is receiving the live animal, carcass or raw materials. The system, through the XML web services integration module, is also able to get all the traceability data from Farm Management Systems and Government Animal Identification Databases.

Automated animal weighing and RFID integration are ready for most of the popular brands of scales and readers. But if necessary, we can make add a new device in no time.

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RFID identification on the entry
Post-mortem inspections
Full individual traceability
Splitting and quartering
Weighing stations integration
Grading Labeling
Yields and efficiency analysis
With the animal entry, all production data is captured throughout the whole process. Automatic identification of the entering animal enables system sequencing the carcasses.

All products not excluding, offal and leather are recorded, labeled and included in the traceability data. With post-mortem examination and the grading module, product quality is ensured. Human errors are eliminated through the production process with the automated data capture, and yields can be calculated and recorded along the desired number of weighing stations.

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Carcass receiving
Carcass weighing
Individual or lot based traceability
Product labeling
Weighing stations integration
Yields and efficiency analysis
Deboning hall is the busiest parts of the processing stage. As a result, all activities must be recorded and tracked through the processing line. Meatsys will help you to record all the performance indicators through the deboning and trimming process; including the operator’s performance.

Either individual or lot based product traceability can be used based on the system setup. Recorded values of all the environmental conditions, such as temperature and humidity, are also bounded with the final products.

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Raw material receiving
Weighing scales integration
Spice and raw material management
Premixing (portioning and labeling)
Product recipe management
Meatsys’ further processing module is responsible for recipe formulation, recipe versioning, recipe tracking, ingredient traceability; batch based product traceability, premixed and portioned ingredient management. During the production, all the data is captured and recorded automatically eliminating human errors.

Further Processing module is also suitable for food, infant formulas and candy manufacturers.

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Shrinking & Vacuuming
Packing & Boxing
Finished or semi-finished products are packed and labeled for storage or dispatch purposes. You can integrate Meatsys with any packing line or use it as a stand-alone packing system, as it might be needed.

Meatsys has state-of-the-art management console; you can create a number of packing and labeling stations with a different setup and configuration very quickly.

You can design your labels with your preferred barcode designing software and add to the system. All of the traceability data could also be carried up to the products on the pallet barcode.

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Transferring and receiving records
Automated inventory reports
Sales order picking
Container loading
The modular and parametric architecture of Meatsys allows you to create and integrate as many warehouses, cold storage units as you want. You can also determine the transferring and product acceptance rules for each warehouse separately. With its user-friendly interface and optional automatic RFID data capturing systems, inventory information given by Meatsys is always accurate and reliable.

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RFID embedded hooks, dollies, carts & crates
Rail readers
Stationary and mobile readers
Paperless carcas tracking
Automated inventory tracking
Automated weighing
Automated rail routing management
Meatsys has been uniquely designed to collect data automatically from every available point on the production line. High-powered reader systems are used on the carcass rails, transfer stations, weighing stations and every possible place where data can be collected automatically. Best RFID tags were chosen for the equipment to be identified. We can either install the readers and transponders for new construction or retrofit for the system you already have.

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Individual carcass and primal traceability
Batch traceability of further processing products
Raw material traceability
Premix traceability
Environmental conditions traceability
Stationary and mobile Readers
Paperless carcas tracking
Instant traceability reporting
Mobile scanning app for customers
Traceability is one of the most vital aspects of food processing business. Whether you need basic age and source traceability or full traceability which includes ingredients, process, people, time, temperature and all that is involved in the production process, Meatsys is capable of providing traceability data at any level

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Windows or Android based devices.
Integrated barcode and RFID readers.
Mobile modules for all operations.
Mobile computers with RFID and barcode readers can be integrated with Meatsys for higher mobility. All the mobile modules are capable of getting data directly from the integrated weighing scales and RFID readers to be used in every step where needed. Also, devices can be easily configured to use barcode printers or other output devices in any station.

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Sanitation records
Personel tracking
Environmental conditions tracking
Daily cleaning and sanitation records are included in the system for compliance with the laws and regulations. Personnel entrance, exit and movement records are collected from entrance and exit gates with boot RFID readers and real time tracking devices.

Veal fabrication
Veal is classified into several categories based on the ages of the animals at the time of slaughter. Baby veal (bob veal) is 2–3 days to 1 month of age and yields carcasses weighing 9 to 27 kilograms. Vealers are 4 to 12 weeks of age with carcasses weighing 36 to 68 kilograms. Calves are up to 20 weeks of age with carcasses ranging from 56 to 135 kilograms.

After slaughter, veal carcasses are split on the fabrication floor into two halves, the foresaddle and hindsaddle. The foresaddle produces the major wholesale cuts of the shoulder, rib, breast, and shank. The hindsaddle produces the major wholesale cuts of the loin, sirloin, and round.

cuts of veal; meat processing
cuts of veal; meat processingWholesale and retail cuts of veal.Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
Meat cookery
The physical changes associated with cooking meat are caused by the effects of heat on connective tissue and muscle proteins.

Colour changes
Know the science that takes place while grilling meat
Know the science that takes place while grilling meatLearn about the science of grilling meat.© American Chemical Society (A Britannica Publishing Partner)See all videos for this article
In beef, changes in cooking temperatures ranging from 54 °C or 130 °F (very rare) to 82 °C or 180 °F (very well done) correspond to changes in colour from deep red or purple to pale gray. These colour changes are a result of the denaturation of the myoglobin in meat. Denaturation is the physical unfolding of proteins in response to such influences as extreme heat. The denaturation of myoglobin makes the protein unable to bind oxygen, causing the colour to change from the bright cherry red of oxymyoglobin to the brown of denatured myoglobin (equivalent to metmyoglobin).

Complete meat packing and meat processing business management. The app manages meat deliveries, batch processing and meat packing, sales and distribution. Maintain high levels of traceability during the meat packing process.
[Meat Packing (Australian) edition of farmsoft - download brochure here]

Meat packing process: this is a sample process used by some of our meat packing clients in the USA and Australia, we will tailor the meat packing process in the app to match your specific meat packing requirements:
• Meat Sales Orders from customers are recorded in farmsoft. Export: Usually the Shipping container number (for meat export) is known well before meat packing, and can be entered onto the customer’s meat order and will carry through to the packed meat shipping process.

• PO’s issued for all raw materials (unprocessed animals) from farmsoft (animal and packaging supplies)

• Incoming meat deliveries reference the PO for rapid recording:

o A delivery receipt is printed / emailed to farmer/supplier immediately on delivery

o Each animal unit is weighed, associated to its animal reference ID/ traceability code, and assigned an inventory number by farmsoft to maximize meat traceability throughout the meat packing process

• Quality control

o Generic QC test performed on carcasses delivered.

o Reject / Accept carcass processes

• Meat Production & packing planning

o Meat Packing / Production manager uses Sales dashboard & Projections & Orders to view required production

o Batches are created and assigned to teams in specific meat cutting rooms and lines

o Alert is sent to team manager for new meat processing batches that associate the orders with the specific meat cuts that are required.

o Carcass is prepared, and packaged, and labelled with farmsoft labels (each unit is weighed)

o Fresh meat inventory created from this animal is associated to the batch which traces back to the specific carcass and supplier.

• Post meat packing QC

o QC check on packed meat product

• Logistics management for shipping packed meat:

o Shipping manager uses Logistic dashboard to group meat orders onto single trucks and set the loading order of packed meat for that truck

o Associate Transport company, truck/trailer registration

o Set shipping container info if not already on customers order

• Picking orders

o Users are told the location of specific/exact packed meat inventory that should be picked for each order

o Exporting meat products: if these details were not already on the original order, they are recorded in this process: Container number, Analog temp recorder, Digital temp recorder, seal number

o Documents (BOL, invoice, and export documents) generated and sent to various parties by admin or shipping manager.

• Pre shipping QC

o Depending on domestic/export, pre-shipping packed meat QC is performed

o Photos of packed container / truck are stored for insurance / quality purposes

• Admin

o PO’s (AP) and Invoices (AR) are exported and imported into clients Xero, Quickbooks, and other apps.

We will interview your team to custom design the meat packing & meat processing solution for your business.
Here's how your meat packing management project will work:

Interview with a solution consultant so we can understand how your meat packing business operates
We then prepare your meat packing forms and documents to be produced by the app and adjust special meat packing reporting tools you may need
A quick meeting to show you the settings in your app, and how to maintain them yourself in the future if you sell new meat products for example. We will have entered almost all of your settings for you.
Your consultant will then present you with proposed operational processes for your meat packing & processing processing business. This may happen a few times because we will respond to your feedback.
Your approved operational processes for your meat packing business will then be deployed one by one into your live business. We provide simple, written instructions you can show each team member so they don't need to remember anything or write anything down.
Review! Once you deploy the processes, we can have another review to see if there are any tweaks that would help improve your meat packing & handling processes.

The meat packing solution requires a requires a Precision training package, click here to order one now or talk to one of our consultants about your requirements.

What Is Meatpacking?
Meatpacking refers to the process of turning livestock into meat, including slaughter, processing, packaging and distribution. These days, the top meatpacking companies do not just produce meat, they also control how the animals are raised long before slaughter: in the chicken industry, companies oversee the process from chick genetics through supermarket packaging; in the beef industry, cattle come under the control of the big meatpackers four to six months before slaughter.

The ownership of all parts of the supply chain is called vertical integration. It gives integrators – the companies who have integrated all the different parts under one umbrella – control over price and quality; and the economies of scale they have achieved have helped to drive down the consumer prices of meat. Vertical integration has also allowed the meat industry to become highly consolidated, controlled by just a few companies: As of 2015, the four largest companies in each sector controlled 85 percent of the beef packing industry, 66 percent of pork packing, and 51 percent of broiler chicken processing. 1 The slaughter and packing plants these few companies run operate on a tremendous scale: in 2015, 85 percent of beef cattle slaughtered took place in just 30 US slaughter facilities (of the almost 650), with more than half slaughtered in 13 plants. These top 13 plants process more than one million animals per year, which is approximately 2,800 cattle/day, 365 days/year. 2

The Complicated History of Meatpacking
The history of the meatpacking industry closely traces the history of corporate power and consolidation in the US. Upton Sinclair’s famous 1906 exposé, The Jungle, revealed the horrific conditions of Chicago’s meatpacking plants at the turn of the last century, laying blame on the consolidated power of the packing companies. The novel helped to catalyze changes in the industry, including the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act, which led to the creation of the Food and Drug Administration.

In the same period, antitrust laws aimed the stranglehold of big business in all sectors broke up most powerful players of the meat cartel. 3 Large-scale unionizing, along with the 1935 National Labor Relations Act, improved wages and working conditions at meatpacking plants; by the middle of the twentieth century, meatpacking jobs were considered skilled labor, and workers could expect to rise to the middle class. This period of opportunity didn’t last long, however, as companies began to move the packing facilities out of cities into rural areas, to be closer to the animal stock and to have more control over their workers. Transition to a production line, where workers performed the same task repeatedly, meant unskilled workers could be hired at lower wages. Consolidation began to rise again, such that today meatpacking is one of the most concentrated sectors of the economy; with consolidation, conditions at plants have worsened severely.

Meat packing software
Meat packing software

Workers in Slaughterhouses
The meatpacking industry, as a 2015 report by Oxfam America on poultry workers put it, “churns out a lot of chicken, but it also churns through a lot of human beings.” Oxfam estimates that from every dollar spent on a McDonald’s Chicken McNugget, just two cents goes to compensate the processing labor. 4 Conditions are generally the worst at poultry plants, which tend to have the least union representation. Some beef and pork slaughter plants are still unionized, and, according to United Food and Commercial Workers, union meatpackers make 15 percent higher wages than non-union.

The costs of working in slaughterhouses are not offset by the low pay; and worse, many workers sacrifice their bodies on the production line. With line speeds twice as fast as forty years ago, the stress of repetitive cutting motions can lead to serious injury. A 2013 Southern Poverty Law Center report found that nearly 75 percent of poultry workers described having some type of significant work-related injury or illness. 5 6 The US General Accounting Office (GAO) found in 2016 that while injury rates for meat and poultry processing workers have declined in recent years, they are (at 5.7 percent) still higher than in manufacturing, overall. 7 According to the Department of Labor, the incidence of occupational illness reported in the poultry industry is more than six times the average for all US industries. 8

Injuries from the cutting equipment, from falls on slippery floors and from exposure to chemicals and pathogens are common. Musculoskeletal disorders — injuries to the nerves, tendons and muscles — are especially prevalent. For example, the incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome in poultry processing is seven times higher than the national average. On a chicken processing line, a worker can repeat the same motion as many as 20,000 times in a day, which can lead to permanent damage in the hands, arms, shoulders or back. In some slaughterhouses, workers are not allowed regular bathroom breaks, which can lead to severe health consequences, as well.

Many workers in slaughterhouses are immigrants and have been threatened with deportation or firing if they speak up about unsafe working conditions, are injured on the job, seek medical treatment outside the company or complain about work-related health issues. 9

Food Safety
In 2015, USDA issued 150 recalls of contaminated meat products, covering 21.1 million pounds, including 5.1 million pounds for contamination by Listeria, Salmonella, and various forms of E. coli. 10 Meat and poultry were responsible for 2.1 million illnesses in the US in a ten-year period examined by Centers for Disease Control researchers — 22 percent of all foodborne illness. In 2014, Wolverine Packing Company recalled approximately 1.8 million pounds of ground beef products after 12 people were infected with an outbreak E. coli strains in four states. That same year, Tyson Foods recalled 33,840 pounds of mechanically separated chicken parts, some of which had infected nine people in a correctional facility in Tennessee with Salmonella. Baseline studies by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service found that 26.3 percent of raw chicken parts in the US tested positive for Salmonella and 21.4 percent for Campylobacter, two harmful bacteria. 11

Bacteria can enter the food supply if proper care is not taken in slaughter and processing. Fecal matter from animal intestines or animal hides can spread to tables, tools or to the meat itself. The high speeds of production lines in many processing plants, however, make it difficult for workers to take the necessary care to prevent contamination.

While rates of documented contamination are relatively low given the scale of total annual US meat production (48.5 billion pounds red meat and 40.5 billion pounds chilled and frozen chicken), even one instance of death caused by bacteria in the food supply is too many. Along with production line speeds, the centralization of slaughter and processing facilities is a major culprit in contamination outbreaks. Meat processed in one facility may end up in supermarkets or restaurants all over the country, making it difficult to trace the origin of the outbreak, and even harder to contain.

Federal Meatpacking Plant Regulations
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) regulates the safety of meat and poultry. Meat sold in the US carries a USDA “Inspected and Passed” seal proving that government inspectors have verified only the effectiveness of the processor’s food safety systems, through the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Program (HACCP), not, however, that they have inspected every piece of meat. 12

The HACCP system, introduced in 1996, modernized meat inspection and introduced testing for some bacteria that make people sick. It was a major advance; but critics, including internal government oversight agencies, point to significant shortcomings. Audits of the system by the Office of the Inspector General and Government Accountability Office have repeatedly shown that meatpacking plants fail to properly identify potential hazards (including commonly tested pathogens like shiga-toxin producing E. coli and Salmonella) in their HACCP plans, and that FSIS has no procedure in place for approval of plants’ plans; this enables recurring violations of the protocol, with little consequence or corrective action, as well as other problems. 13 The HACCP system allows many inspection tasks to be carried out by the meat companies themselves, and actually reduces the involvement of USDA inspectors. 14 Finally, the system does not allow USDA to shut down a meatpacking plant that, through testing, is shown to have high levels of bacterial contamination in its products. 15 As a result of the landmark case Supreme Beef vs USDA, the agency cannot rely on the results of its testing alone to determine whether a meat processing facility is unsanitary and therefore also cannot on its own shut violators down. 16

HACCP also impacts worker safety. A USDA rule, Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection, finalized in 2014, had initially proposed an increase in production line speed from 140 to 175 birds per minute. The increase was rejected in the final rule, but there has been no subsequent rulemaking by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to further protect meat or poultry workers. According to a Southern Poverty Law Center’s report, OSHA “has no set of mandatory guidelines tailored to protect poultry processing workers. Workers cannot bring a lawsuit to prevent hazardous working conditions or even to respond to an employer’s retaliation, if they complain about safety hazards or other abusive working conditions.”

Corporate Meatpacking
Although consumer demand for local, sustainably-produced meats is growing, satisfying this demand is no easy task, in large part because decades of consolidation has wiped out the infrastructure needed to produce and market meat products from small farms. Small slaughter and processing operations have been closing across the country, because of industry consolidation, low profit margins, the complexities of federal regulation and the challenges of disposing of slaughter byproducts. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of slaughterhouses in the US declined by 15 percent. 17 The lack of smaller processing facilities poses a challenge (both logistical and financial) for small farmers, and it can be very hard for them to schedule an appointment in the few-day window when their animals are, for example, at peak condition; without alternatives, they have no choice but to pay the higher prices they are charged. Many small farmers point to processing costs as one of their biggest expenses.

Fortunately, there are many sustainable farmers and ranchers throughout the US that care about where their animals are processed – and in some areas, independent slaughterhouses and butchering facilities are slowly re-opening, including mobile slaughterhouses. The most successful of these efforts include an independent middleman or aggregator, who negotiates the relationship between farmer and buyer (a store, restaurant or institution) and coordinates the slaughter, processing and delivery of the meat. Because the aggregator is working with product from multiple farmers, it is easier for them to gain access to slaughter facilities and juggle buyers’ changing schedules than it is for a single farmer. For consumers, meat that goes through a local aggregator is often easier to find – it may be available in the supermarket or restaurants rather than just at a weekly farmers’ market, and it may be cheaper than buying direct from the farmer. The aggregator usually has a recognizable brand under which meat from all its farmers is sold. Firsthand Foods in North Carolina, Ranch Foods Direct in Colorado and Black River Meats in Vermont are a few thriving examples of this model; some of these are farmer cooperatives instead, such as Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative in Arkansas.

HACCP implementation: general principles
The classic approach to HACCP implementation is ineffective for controlling microbiological hazards in processes for raw meat production because knowledge of the microbiological effects of the individual operations in any process is generally lacking. Indeed, there is still often little or no knowledge of the microbiological effects of any of the processes performed at a packing plant. The microbiological methods which have been described in the previous section can be used to remedy that lack of knowledge. To do that, the stages of HACCP system construction must be expanded from seven to some 12 stages (Table 27-4).

Table 27-4. The actions required for constructing an effective HACCP system for controlling the microbiological contamination of meat during a meat packing plant process

1.Describe the process2.Establish consistent procedures for performance of the process3.Identify the microbiological characteristics of the process4.Establish the CCPsa5.Implement actions to improve hygienic performance at each CCP6.If appropriate, implement novel decontaminating operations7.Establish SOPsb for each operation8.Identify corrective actions for failure to maintain any SOP at a CCP9.Identify the microbiological characteristics of the improved process10.Establish microbiological criteria for process performance11.Establish a verification procedure12.Document the system

aCCP = critical control pointbSOP = standard operating procedure

The activities which occur at any but small meat packing plants are too numerous to comprehend in detail if they are viewed as all being elements of a single production process. Therefore, it is necessary to divide the activities into discrete processes which can be investigated sequentially. Activities are divided into processes as seems convenient with regard to plant layout, procedures, products and management practices. The only provisions are (Gill et al., 1996b):


every activity that occurs in the plant must be placed in a process, and


no activity may be placed in more than one process.

With such limited requirements there is no reason why the list of processes should be the same for all plants. For example, the skinning, eviscerating and trimming, washing and otherwise cleaning of beef carcass could be viewed as three processes of (i) skinning, (ii) eviscerating, and (iii) carcass cleaning, or as a single carcass dressing process. Despite that, processes are likely to be similarly defined at many plants because of broadly similar arrangements for processing and management of activities at most plants (Table 27-5). When deciding the list of processes, the HACCP team should identify the initial and final operations of each, and their relationships to one another, to ensure that no operation is overlooked and that none is duplicated in different processes. Each process must then be examined separately, to determine its microbiological effects upon the product and to control the microbiological contamination of the product occurring during the process.

Meat decontamination and pathogen stress adaptation

J. Samelis, in Improving the Safety of Fresh Meat, 2005

Potential impact of decontamination on the microbial ecology of meat plants
Carcass decontamination with chemicals may also alter the microbial ecology of meat packing plants in addition to shifting the spoilage flora of treated meat. Indeed, the fluid run-off and aerosol dispersion resulting from application of acid sprays may collect on equipment surfaces, which come into contact with meat. Conditions created on such wet surfaces may provide an environment favorable for the colonization and proliferation of bacteria present on the washed carcasses, leading to possible attachment and biofilm formation. Bacterial pathogens that become suspended in such decontamination waste fluids or settle in associated biofilms may become stress-adapted, cross-protected, resistant and, eventually, more virulent (Samelis and Sofos, 2003). Research data collected under real or simulated plant conditions are still insufficient to draw clear conclusions on these potential safety risks associated with fresh meat environments.

We have recently used meat decontamination run-off waste fluids of different pH (acidic, acid-diluted or non-acid-water spray-washings) as a model system to evaluate responses of pathogens under conditions simulating those in meat plant environments (Samelis et al., 2001a,b,c, 2002a,b, 2003b, 2004a,b; Stopforth et al., 2002, 2003a,b). Washings were inoculated with selected strains, such as the acid-resistant meat outbreak E. coli O157:H7 strain ATCC 43895 (Benjamin and Datta, 1995), to monitor survival, growth and biofilm formation under refrigeration or abusive temperatures. It was found that E. coli O157:H7 had greater potential than L. monocytogenes and S. Typhimurium DT104 for survival in 2% organic acid meat washings, especially when acetic acid rather than lactic acid was used and the washings were kept at 4 °C compared to 10 °C (Samelis et al., 2001a). More specifically, E. coli O157:H7 strain ATCC 43895 could survive in 2% lactic acid (pH 2.3–2.5) or 2% acetic acid (pH 3.0–3.2) meat washings for 2–7 days at 10 and 4 °C, while Salmonella and L. monocytogenes always died off faster and were undetectable after 7 days under the same experimental conditions (Samelis et al., 2001a). A later study (Samelis et al., 2002a) confirmed that, similar to fresh meat (Berry and Cutter, 2000), acid adaptation by the glucose method enhanced survival of E. coli O157:H7 in acid-containing washings stored at 4 or 10 °C. Acid-adapted populations survived with minimal reductions for up to 14 days in 2% acetic acid washings or in 2% lactic or acetic acid washings mixed with water washings at ratios of 1/1, 1/9 or 1/99 [vol/vol] (Samelis et al., 2002a). Under all conditions tested, declines increased as the acid concentration in the washings and the storage temperature increased, and were more dramatic in lactic than in acetic acid washings. Mixing of acidic with water washings was done to obtain run-off waste fluids (washing mixtures) with a sublethal pH, ranging from approximately 2.5 to 5.0, as may be the case in meat plants (Samelis et al., 2002a).

In non-acid (water) washings at 4 and 10 °C, E. coli O157:H7 survived, but the low storage temperatures, the vigorous growth (> 108 CFU/ml after 2–4 days) of the natural flora and the low nutrient availability in the washings synergistically inhibited its growth (Samelis et al., 2001a, 2002a). Interestingly, non-adapted E. coli O157:H7 showed greater potential for survival and a tendency to grow in water washings, compared to acid-adapted populations at 10 °C, suggesting that acid adaptation negatively influenced the pathogen's ability to readapt upon a sudden shift from its culture broth of approximate pH 5.0 to the higher pH of 6.5–7.5 of the meat washings (Samelis et al., 2002a). When the storage temperature of the washings was increased to 15 °C, the overall behavior of E. coli O157:H7 within treatments was unchanged. However, the higher storage temperature accelerated pathogen death in acidic washings, while in non-acid (water) washings it enhanced pathogen growth by approximately 2 log cycles, irrespective of previous acid adaptation (Stopforth et al., 2003a). Acid-containing meat washings with a pH below 4.0 suppressed growth of the predominant Pseudomonas-like natural flora, while being selective for growth of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts. This natural selection did not occur in acid-containing washings of pH ≥ 4.5, where the normal gram-negative flora could overcome the low acid stress and predominate, as they did in water washings (Samelis et al., 2002a, b).

Biofilm formation by L. monocytogenes and E. coli O157:H7 on stainless steel coupons immersed in fresh meat decontamination washings was also evaluated (Stopforth et al., 2002, 2003a). Cultures (107 cfu/ml) and coupons were exposed to washings without acid (water; approximate pH 7.0) or to acid-containing washings (lactic or acetic acid; pH range from 3.2–6.9) for 14 days at 15 °C. E. coli O157:H7 formed biofilms and remained detectable (> 1.3 log CFU/cm2) on stainless steel for up to 4 days in washings of pH 3.2 to 3.8, and persisted throughout storage in washings of pH 4.0–6.9. L. monocytogenes was unable to form detectable (< 1.3 log CFU/cm2) biofilms in acidic washings of pH 3.2–4.3; however, after 14 days of incubation in washings with a final pH of 4.4–6.9, the pathogen was able to attach at detectable levels (2.7–3.4 logs). In water meat washings, both pathogens formed biofilms of approximately 5.0 log CFU/cm2 (e.g., attachment was approximately 2 log cycles lower than pathogen populations in suspension), while the natural flora attached at 1–2 log cycles higher. Differences in biofilm formation between acid-adapted and non-adapted pathogens were not significant. The organic acid washings were selective for the growth of both lactic acid bacteria and yeasts, indicating that use of acids for carcass decontamination could modify the microbial ecology of processing plant environments (Stopforth et al., 2003a).

Meat Processing information
Market-leading software developed for the meat processing industry

Scheduling and controlling production, monitoring real-time performance, reviewing costs and margins. The everyday complexity faced by meat processors, whilst they ensure integrity is maintained across everything they produce.

But when margins are already slim in the meat industry, the choices they make for food processing software could be crucial to operational success.

The meat processing plant. carcasses of beef hang on hooks.
SI is renowned for our in-depth understanding of the meat processing sector, right down to the detail of planning and forecasting, cutting and boning, production and meeting customer expectations.

At SI, we’ve been producing world-class meat processing software, as part of our modular food ERP, to match the sectors’ needs for nearly three decades. Every day, we focus on finding solutions to meet your challenges through our people who’ve direct experience within the industry.

Whether it’s looking at how to improve the value chain, finding ways to reduce hanging stock and freezer costs, or reducing the opportunity to have to downgraded meat. SI’s clever meat processing software is helping our customers deliver efficiencies across their operations.

Struggling to manage carcass balance?

Developed to resolve the mystery of the “carcass balance” within red meat processing, our latest “Plan to Produce” and “Available to Sell” modules allow businesses to plan months ahead, whilst reacting in real-time to changing customer demands, raw material availability and key commercial challenges.

Our Plan to Produce and Available to Sell modular software have been developed with the most complex multi-site, vertically integrated meat processing businesses in mind. From kill, bone, retail pack through to value-added products operations.

We continually invest in product development for the meat processing industry. From abattoirs, carcass balance, boning and yield, through to retail pack and value-added products, we’ve developed applications for every operational process.

With SI’s modular food ERP at the heart of your meat processing operations:

Our skilled technicians will set up a solution to complement your current production. After all, if an ERP provider is expecting you to adapt your systems or processes to their system’s design, then the software is not a fit.
SI’s renowned food shop-floor data capture across your processes will ensure you always have full traceability.
Cost modelling software, that can even take into account the nuances of the cut-tree, projects your profitability. And our software helps you to understand which products you should produce, and even takes account of market fluctuations.
Define your KPIs and monitor against every stage of meat processing production. For example, our food software captures all the detail you need to monitor meat processing yield, giveaway and mass balance.
Read how pork processor Baird Food Services has made the most of SI’s controls and achieves >98.5% mass balance every day.
As your business grows and becomes more profitable, be assured that SI’s food ERP software can grow with it. When your operations are ready to step up to the next level of digital control, it’s straightforward to integrate our feature-rich modular food software.
Every business that processes meat strives for daily operational excellence and greater profitability.
SI’s modular food ERP, MES and sector software will connect every part of your operations – seamlessly.
“We wholeheartedly recommend SI. They understand our business, they understand our model, and they understand how the meat industry works. For us, it was an absolute no brainer that they should be our partner of choice.”DB Foods
Carcass management and every stage of meat processing can be managed with SI
Image of ribs of beef on shelves at catering butcher
image showing UK pork processing plant
image showing box of cut and trimmed pork at processing plant
While your business targets operational excellence, by implementing SI’s modular food ERP every part of your meat processing operations will be seamlessly connected. As many of our technicians have direct experience gained from working within the meat processing industry, we use this uniqueness to develop meat processing software that addresses the specific needs of the industry.

And, of course, we apply this knowledge to ensure that our food ERP software is compliant with and technical, legislative, regulatory and requirements for the meat industry.

Every business that processes meat strives for daily operational excellence and greater profitability.

SI’s modular food ERP, MES and sector software will connect every part of your operations – seamlessly.

Livestock slaughter procedures
The slaughter of livestock involves three distinct stages: preslaughter handling, stunning, and slaughtering. In the United States the humane treatment of animals during each of these stages is required by the Humane Slaughter Act.

basic slaughtering process; meat processing
basic slaughtering process; meat processingThe basic slaughtering process.Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
Preslaughter handling
Preslaughter handling is a major concern to the livestock industry, especially the pork industry. Stress applied to livestock before slaughter can lead to undesirable effects on the meat produced from these animals, including both PSE and DFD (see Postmortem quality problems). Preslaughter stress can be reduced by preventing the mixing of different groups of animals, by keeping livestock cool with adequate ventilation, and by avoiding overcrowding. Before slaughter, animals should be allowed access to water but held off feed for 12 to 24 hours to assure complete bleeding and ease of evisceration (the removal of internal organs).

As the slaughter process begins, livestock are restrained in a chute that limits physical movement of the animal. Once restrained, the animal is stunned to ensure a humane end with no pain. Stunning also results in decreased stress of the animal and superior meat quality.

The three most common methods of stunning are mechanical, electrical, and carbon dioxide (CO2) gas. The end result of each method is to render the animal unconscious. Mechanical stunning involves firing a bolt through the skull of the animal using a pneumatic device or pistol. Electrical stunning passes a current of electricity through the brain of the animal. CO2 stunning exposes the animal to a mixture of CO2 gas, which acts as an anesthetic.

After stunning, animals are usually suspended by a hind limb and moved down a conveyor line for the slaughter procedures. They are typically bled (a process called sticking or exsanguination) by the insertion of a knife into the thoracic cavity and severance of the carotid artery and jugular vein. This method allows for maximal blood removal from the body. At this point in the process, the slaughtering procedures begin to differ by species.

Hogs are usually stunned by electrical means or CO2 gas. Mechanical stunning is not generally used in hogs because it may cause serious quality problems in the meat, including blood splashing (small, visible hemorrhages in the muscle tissue) in the lean and PSE meat.

Hogs are one of the few domesticated livestock animals in which the skin is left on the carcass after the slaughter process. Therefore, after bleeding, the carcasses undergo an extensive cleaning procedure. First they are placed for about five minutes in a scalding tank of water that is between 57 and 63 °C (135 and 145 °F) in order to loosen hair and remove dirt and other material (called scurf) from the skin. The carcasses are then placed in a dehairing machine, which uses rubber paddles to remove the loosened hair. After dehairing, the carcasses are suspended from a rail with hooks placed through the gambrel tendons on the hind limbs, and any residual hair is shaved and singed off the skin.

An exception to this procedure occurs in certain specialized hog slaughter facilities, such as “whole hog” sausage slaughter plants. In whole hog sausage production all the skeletal meat is trimmed off the carcass, and therefore the carcass is routinely skinned following exsanguination.

After cleaning and dehairing, heads are removed and carcasses are opened by a straight cut in the centre of the belly to remove the viscera (the digestive system including liver, stomach, bladder, and intestines and the reproductive organs), pluck (thoracic contents including heart and lungs), kidneys, and associated fat (called leaf fat). The intestines are washed and cleaned to serve as natural casings for sausage products. The carcasses are then split down the centre of the backbone into two “sides,” which are placed in a cooler (called a “hot box”) for approximately 24 hours before fabrication into meat cuts.

Cattle, calves, and sheep
These animals are usually stunned mechanically, but some sheep slaughter facilities also use electrical stunning. The feet are removed from the carcasses before they are suspended by the Achilles tendon of a hind leg for exsanguination. The carcasses are then skinned with the aid of mechanical skinners called “hide pullers.” Sheep pelts are often removed by hand in a process called “fisting.” (In older operations, hides and pelts are removed by knife.) The hides (cattle and calves) or pelts (sheep) are usually preserved by salting so that they can be tanned for leather products. Heads are removed at the first cervical vertebra, called the atlas joint. Evisceration and splitting are similar to hog procedures, except that kidney, pelvic, and heart fat are typically left in beef carcasses for grading. Carcasses are then placed in a cooler for 24 hours (often 48 hours for beef) prior to fabrication into meat cuts.

By-products are the nonmeat materials collected during the slaughter process, commonly called offal. Variety meats include livers, brains, hearts, sweetbreads (thymus and pancreas), fries (testicles), kidneys, oxtails, tripe (stomach of cattle), and tongue. Bones and rendered meat are used as bone and meat meal in animal feeds and fertilizers. Gelatin, obtained from high-collagen products such as pork snouts, pork skin, and dried rendered bone, is used in confections, jellies, and pharmaceuticals. Intestines are used as sausage casings. Hormones and other pharmaceutical products such as insulin, heparin, and cortisone are obtained from various glands and tissues. Edible fats are used as lard (from hogs), tallow (from cattle), shortenings, and cooking oils. Inedible fats are used in soap and candle manufacturing and in various industrial grease formulations. Lanolin from sheep wool is used in cosmetics. Finally, hides and pelts are used in the manufacture of leather.

Meat inspection
Meat inspection is mandatory and has the mission of assuring wholesomeness, safety, and accurate labeling of the meat supply. Although inspection procedures vary from country to country, they are centred around the same basic principles and may be performed by government officials, veterinarians, or plant personnel. For example, in the United States meat inspection is administered through the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA-FSIS) and is composed of several distinct programs. In general, these programs are representative of the basic inspection procedures used throughout the world and include antemortem inspection, postmortem inspection, reinspection during processing, sanitation, facilities and equipment, labels and standards, compliance, pathology and epidemiology, residue monitoring and evaluation, federal-state relations, and foreign programs.

Antemortem and postmortem inspection
Antemortem inspection identifies animals not fit for human consumption. Here animals that are down, disabled, diseased, or dead (known as 4D animals) are removed from the food chain and labeled “condemned.” Other animals showing signs of being sick are labeled “suspect” and are segregated from healthy animals for more thorough inspection during processing procedures.

Postmortem inspection of the head, viscera, and carcasses helps to identify whole carcasses, individual parts, or organs that are not wholesome or safe for human consumption.

Reinspection during processing
Although previously inspected meat is used in the preparation of processed meat products, additional ingredients are added to processed meats. Reinspection during processing assures that only wholesome and safe ingredients are used in the manufacture of processed meat products (e.g., sausage and ham).

Sanitation is maintained at all meat-packing and processing facilities by mandatory inspection both before and during the production process. This includes floors, walls, ceilings, personnel, clothing, coolers, drains, equipment, and other items that come in contact with food products. In addition, all water used in the production process must be potable (reasonably free of contamination).

Facilities and equipment
Facilities and equipment are inspected to ensure that they meet safety requirements. Facilities must have sufficient cooling and lighting, and rails from which carcasses are suspended must be high enough to assure that the carcasses never come in contact with the floor. Equipment must be able to be properly cleaned and must not adversely affect the wholesomeness of the products.