Save hundreds of thousands $!   
Use low cost meat packing hardware terminals, scales, and other equipment with farmsoft meat packing solutions. Use inexpensive hardware for meat packing, meat processing, and meat storage.

Increase profit & reduce waste now!

Brochure: 
[Meat packing]  

99% less meat packing waste

Accurate fresh produce & food inventory management reduces waste through better FIFO stock rotation, stock-takes, and inventory alerts. RFID pallet control (optional) for precision inventory tracking. 

Save time packing meat 

Increase the efficiency of fresh produce inventory using options like scanning incoming bar-codes to reduce data entry & errors, integrate with scales for automatic weighing, ore RFID for automatic fresh produce inventory tracking.

Better meat  quality control

Guarantee the quality of your fresh produce packing with flexible fresh QC testing systems from your phone or tablet. Customer feedback management, supplier quality control and more...

Reduce meat  packing errors & control production

Project required inventory (and shortages), schedule orders to be packed in batches , automatic alerts to prodution line managers.

100% accurate meat  order shipping

Shipping teams are guided through the dispatch process from picking using a phone or tablet (optional bar-code scanning), automatic picking, thru bill of lading, invoice, and automatic shipping notifications for customers, transport, and sales teams.

Reduce meat  packing administration costs by 40%

Automatic generation of fresh produce labels, bill of lading, invoice, picking documents and more; reduces administrative burden.

Easy audit & recall systems reduces compliance costs.

Faster meat  inventory storage  inventory

Accurate fresh produce & food inventory management delivers reduced waste and increased employee productivity. Manage FIFO, improve stock-take accuracy, scan harvester data, and keep a watchful eye on your inventory... Easy stock-take identifies shrinkage and helps reduce waste from ageing. 

100% accurate meat  traceability

Maintain strict fresh produce traceability and high food safety standards always. Perform recalls based on lot/batch, pack date, invoice #, inventory #, pallet #, delivery date, purchase order #, or perform a recall on your own user defined data. Perform instant recalls both up and down the supply chain. Makes audits easy and instant. COVID-19 food safety & auditing available. 

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 inventory is shipped for each order, on time, every time.

Meat packing app:

The farmsoft meat packing inventory control app provides business wide quality management inspection systems for cattle, hog, poultry, slaughterhouse, and meat processing / meat manufacturing.


Use low cost meat packing hardware terminals, scales, and other equipment with farmsoft meat packing solutions. Use inexpensive hardware for meat packing, meat processing, and meat storage.


Farmsoft gives you the freedom to use any low cost hardware with the farmsoft meat packing app.
Low cost meat packing hardware inexpensive
Low cost meat packing hardware inexpensive (prices are roughly indicative for a meat processing plant with 10 meat processing / packing / meat boning stations). We do not sell meat packing hardware, you can buy your meat packing hardware from any vendor.
OLD MEAT PACKING HARDWARE SOLUTIONS
Old meat packing solutions tend to use expensive to purchase proprietary hardware that is often very expensive to install in a meat packing plant, and has excessive ongoing maintenance fees. These older meat packing solution vendors try to upsell you with hundreds of thousands of dollars of meat packing hardware. You don't have to waste precious resources that could be spent elsewhere in your meat packing plant.
Old solutions use outdated redundant and expensive technologies like RS232 networks which are expensive and inflexible, require a lot of expert configuration and maintenance. Old meat packing solutions often run only on Windows terminals which are slow, prone to viruses, and cost too much to purchase and maintain. Old meat packing solutions usually require you to purchase, administer, backup, and maintain your own server (expensive and a waste of your time and money).
Farmsoft offers an alternative, giving you the choice to use any inexpensive and low cost meat packing hardware for any sized meat packing and meat processing plant.
Administration and maintenance of meat packing plant hardware & I.T. infrastructure
Old meat packing solutions: $20,000+ per year
Modern farmsoft meat packing app: $0
You don’t need to purchase & administer servers (Windows, MS SQL, anti-virus, backup software) because farmsoft runs in the cloud. Less Windows OS’s that need constant fixing & virus removal. No proprietary equipment with expensive repairs, parts, and maintenance. Less network equipment, complexity, and even less cables means less things go wrong; resulting in massively reduced network administration & maintenance expenses.
It just works.
Terminal for data entry during meat packing process:
Old meat packing solutions: $2000
Modern farmsoft meat packing app: $200
Any Android / iOS tablet or phone / PC / Mac (old equipment is also compatible)
RFID reader (read animal RFID tags during slaughter, testing, evisceration, and inspection)
Old meat packing solutions: $3000
Modern farmsoft meat packing app: $150
Any USB/wireless RFID reader in sleeve or ruggedized version, any Android RFID reading device
Barcode reader for inventory control of livestock and meat inventory:
 Old meat packing solutions: $3000
Modern farmsoft meat packing app: $150
Any USB barcode reader (wireless), any Android professional Barcode reading device, any Android phone/tablet.
Scales & printers for weighing livestock and packed meat
 Old meat packing solutions: $3000
Modern farmsoft meat packing app: $400
Any scale that can dump weight to PC clipboard via USB. Any 300+ dpi printers.
Meat packing plant network & network installation
Old meat packing solutions: $50,000
Modern farmsoft meat packing app: $5000 (or as little as $200 for a small business)
Devices require only Wi-Fi, this cuts the cost of cables, routers, and installation drastically as opposed to running cables to every device.

farmsoft meat packing app - Technical notes, hardware, requirements for the Meat processing & packing quality control app.   farmsoft meat packing app FAQ

Is farmsoft a finance app?
NO! But you can integrate farmsoft with other solutions for finance, accounting, hardware, CRM, payroll, ERP using the fully open farmsoft API which can be used by your I.T. department or any external I.T. vendor. If you want us to perform the integration for you, additional costs apply for, please enquire. Existing integration with other apps is limited to insertion of invoices and purchases one way transactions (for Xero) and export of data via export feature unless otherwise specified in this document.
Do you share my data?
We will never sell or share your data with any person, company, or government.
How long does it take to implement farmsoft meat packing app?
Implementation takes from 3 to 8 weeks, varies wildly based on business complexity. Average time 2-3 weeks.
Can I deploy farmsoft meat packing myself?
No, deployment is by professionals that have deployed many times. Without this experience your project would take 10 X longer to implement and has low chance of success. We will not provide farmsoft without managed implementation.
What languages is farmsoft in?
The interface is available in 14 languages, we can add more on request.
What if our broadband fails?
Keep a redundant internet connection through another company / infrastructure such as cable, OFC, ADSL, or phone hot spot, or keep a USB stick or 5G wi-fi router. The app requires an always on data connection.
Who develops & supports farmsoft meat packing?
We have been making food processing solutions since 2001, Tenacious Solutions Ltd 124 Broadkill Road #643, Milton DE 19968-1008 USA and have invested millions of $ in research and development to build farmsoft (current version is new, released in 2020). In Australia, the “official mark” and EXDOC/NEXTDOC part of our software is from our Australian subsidiary www.Producepak.com Pty Ltd PO BOX 7443 URANGAN, QLD, AUSTRALIA . Learn more about Tenacious Solutions Ltd here.
What are the costs if we need changes or additions to farmsoft meat packing?
We are happy to build new features or modify existing ones for your company. Please ask for a quotation for any special features you need added to farmsoft or use the API to add features through your I.T. department. We are unable to provide software development services for free, changing the app incurs an hourly fee. If you don’t want to pay this fee, don’t ask for changes.
What’s your refund policy for farmsoft meat packing?
Refunds will not be provided. It is your responsibility to perform full due diligence. Your project is not a trial or test.
Can you support my hardware?
If you didn’t buy it from us, we can’t support it, tell you how to use it, or configure it. We don’t sell hardware or accounting solutions and can’t tell you how to use or setup your financial solution, do not have a copy of your finance app or know how to use it. We provide support only for farmsoft, we can’t install your printer drivers or remove a virus from an old PC.
farmsoft meat packing app hardware requirements
MEAT PACKING TERMINALS TERMINALS
All terminal devices must run one of these browsers: Edge, Chrome, Opera, Brave, with 800x1200 min resolution & an always on internet connection of 0.5 M/bit minimum, no data is saved on your device, no app is installed.
PRINTING MEAT LABELS
To print from Android or iOS Install AirPrint etc, or purchase PaperCut (or similar), or the app from printer vendor to print PDF from browser ( 300+DPI required if you print barcodes).
USING YOUR OWN SERVER FOR FARMSOFT MEAT PACKING
Don’t do this unless you absolutely must, standard solution runs from our nearest data center (New York, Berlin, or Sydney) and is included in your quote. Please enquire, there is a cost to use your own server (server etc not provided by us: specs: Win Svr2019+, 16GB RAM+, 4 GHz+, MS SQL 2019+). Or you can have an exclusive server in our data center (we administer & provide server, no other company will be using your exclusive infrastructure, available in USA, Canada, European Union, Australia).
READING BARCODES / RFID IN FARMSOFT MEAT PACKING
If your device doesn’t have built in reader, for PC/Mac/Android/iOS use a USB or Bluetooth reader that dumps the data into focused field as keyboard text input. For Android, install an app like Barcode & QR code Keyboard or Barcode/NFC/OCR Scanner Keyboard etc that dumps data read into focused field and is activated from virtual keyboard. (None of these apps provided by us).
MEAT PACKING SCALES
Scales must paste current weight to clipboard of the device (ie: the scale emulates keyboard USB transaction of CTRL V of the data). Test your chosen device before you commit.
NETWORK FOR FARMSOFT MEAT PACKING
You need an I.T. person to setup your network & devices, we can’t setup or advise on any of your hardware or operating systems or drivers or finance app; our advice is that your devices meet the requirements outlined on this page and that you test each device before committing to bulk purchases. Modern devices are wireless, installing multiple wireless mesh networks that have multiple nodes per network where the nodes are connected in daisy chain via CAT cables can be considerably cheaper than traditional wired networks. Cool rooms need a node inside each to allow full coverage. Example inexpensive mesh devices include TP-Link Deco M5* / TP-Link Dexo X20 / TP-Link Deco X68.
Advice from our clients: Buy extra nodes in case one fails and needs replacing (cant mix new models with old). Whitelist *farmsoft.net and *dropbox.com, block all sites that are not (or common trash sties) so devices can only used for farmsoft.
TERMINALS THAT PRINT LOTS OF MEAT LABELS
Printing huge amounts of labels from an Android is not efficient, try using a Windows devices because Windows prints directly to the printer without cloud services slowing the transaction.
MEAT PROCESSING & BONING STATION TERMINALS
On stations where printing is infrequent or not required, usually users are generally just looking at the boning spec and selecting “Next” animal from this screen, or doing some simple data entry such as at kill box, head removal, eviscerations etc; a simple android tablet suspended on an arm with splash cover is very inexpensive and effective for these stations. You can use an inexpensive USB RFID and or bar-code reader with your Android device.
VOICE CONTROL THE FARMSOFT MEAT PACKING APP
Activate voice control on your device. With the farmsoft app open, simply shout “Touch Next” to move to the next animal (or “Touch previous” to go back, or “Touch finish” to finish the animal, or “Touch Carton” to print a carton label. Voice control is a feature of your devices operating system and not farmsoft.

Meat processing & packing quality control is made easy with farmsoft Meat Packing app; manage all QC, criteria, and testing processes for meat processing and meat packing quality testing for export/importers of beef, pig, and other fresh meat products.


Meat packing quality control for export of beef, pig and other fresh meat products.
Easy meat & meat packing quality control!
 Each test can be configured to send instant alerts to selected staff if a test fails. Receive full QC report and photos instantly.
 Configure unlimited quality tests for customers, internal QC, QMS, government mandated quality tests, regulated livestock quality testing
 Attach unlimited photos, lab tests & documents to QC tests
 Tests can be associated with anything such as animal, lot, batch, supplier, customer, order, delivery, shipment and more…
 Test types include pass/fail, score, value range, percentage of sample.
 Full quality control solution can be configured for livestock, meat during the curing or dry-ageing process, meat pre pack quality control, post pack meat quality control, pre-shipment and pre export QC.
The farmsoft meat packing app guides each quality station for maximum accuracy & speed:
 Processes are configurable for each type of animal and station, perform basic meat processing, or perform value added manufacturing
 Each station can enter / access only data relevant to their tasks, and rapidly record outputs. Includes carcass processing and subsequent boning processes.
 Rapidly switch to next animal (or jump around if carcasses not being processed in the intended order)
 Each station can work simultaneously on different animals or lots.
 Easily pull a carcass for testing, suspicion of quality problem, or to condemn
 Carcasses market for testing can’t be further processed until the testing process is completed (this stops the carcass from being boned or sold)
 Marking a carcass for drag in automatically removes halal status
 Verify animal RFID in as many steps as required
 Automatically assigned animal inventory numbers
 Schedule livestock in batches (unlimited livestock pens for storage of livestock)
 Production management can:
 Schedule production to fill specific orders
 Monitor progress of each lot
 View outputs from production
Quality feedback management for meat customers
Manage & analyze customer complaints, capture customer comments, photos, documents, and more. Trace customer complaints back to the original supplier of livestock, or establishment. Instant alerts to relevant staff when a customer complaint/feedback is received.
Livestock supplier quality management
Simple or comprehensive supplier quality management using unlimited quality management programs, which can be supplier specific, livestock type specific, or generic for all suppliers. Each supplier quality program records notes, photos & more, linked to supplier delivery, batch, purchase order, etc.
Share quality results directly from the app with your suppliers. Instant alerts if a test fails.
Pick & send orders rapidly
 Scan inventory onto pallets or allow farmsoft to suggest exact inventory for each order based on FIFO & order specs.
 Build new pallets / shipping containers from existing inventory to fill orders
 Shipping container management
 The correct documents (invoice, BOL, shipping) are presented or automatically sent to admin when the order is filled and sent to government export systems via the cloud.
Complete meat sales process…
 Capture customer orders & specs (used on boning specification sheets) and meat quality requirements
 Monitor & manage the progress of meat order picking, quality control, and shipping from the Logistics dashboard
 Assign transport details to orders and perform quality control on individual shipments and individual shipping containers (truck, license, driver name, shipping container #, temp rec #, seal #, export details, etc)
 Assign loading order of each order
 Manage prices, including price list management for specific parts, and groups of customers (used on orders automatically)
 Attach unlimited documents to orders (international shipping documents, certificate of origin, lab tests etc)
 Capture any special information you need on the order, including fields specific to livestock processing (your consultant will configure this for you).
 Attach photos of truck / shipping containers to shipments for QC and insurance purposes

Traceability matrix seafood meat, poultry. Meat traceability requirements with farmsoft meat packing app. raceability matrix fresh produce fruit and vegetable seafood meat:
[Meat Packing (Australian) edition of farmsoft - download brochure here]
Produce traceability makes it possible to track produce from its point of origin to a retail location where it is purchased by consumers.

Produce traceability is an important link in protecting public health since it allows health agencies to more quickly and accurately identify the source of contaminated fruit or vegetables believed to be the cause of an outbreak of foodborne illness, remove them from the marketplace, and communicate to the supply chain.

Since many fruits and vegetables are eaten raw, the produce industry‚ from farmer to retailer, works diligently to protect these foods from contamination. Despite their best efforts, foreign matter can occasionally contaminate produce in the field or orchard, in packing or processing, in transit or storage.

Because traceability systems can provide information on the source, location, movement and storage conditions of produce, they also allow growers, packers, processors and distributors to identify factors affecting quality and delivery.

Beginning in 2008, an industry-led effort to enhance traceability throughout the entire produce supply chain was launched as the Produce Traceability Initiative.


Try the pepper traceability app from farmsoft:

Traceability matrix fresh produce fruit and vegetable seafood meat
The produce (including pepper & capsicum) industry continues to evolve to meet consumers’ needs. Consumers today are much more knowledgeable and demanding about the foods they purchase. The increased focus on food safety and consumer awareness raises the need to identify and adopt business practices and standards that will aid the produce sector’s ability to track and trace product throughout the supply chain. It is important to note that different regions may have different requirements. Users are reminded to be aware of the requirements in target markets (both business and regulatory).

1.1 Purpose
Consumers expect safe and nutritious foods. They also expect all participants in the supply chain to have effective practices in place that allow for the rapid identification, location, and withdrawal of food lots when problems are suspected or confirmed. Ensuring that effective practices are in place across a complex and global supply chain is an on-going challenge. For this reason, the GS1 Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Traceability Guideline has been developed to aid in the adoption of consistent business practices to effectively manage traceability for the produce industry.

Traceability is a business process that enables trading partners to follow products as they move from field through to retail stores, online or in-store, to foodservice operators and also to the end consumer. Each Traceability Partner must be able to identify the direct source (supplier) and direct recipient (customer) of product.

The first priority of traceability is to protect the consumer through faster and more precise identification of implicated product. This is critical if the product must be withdrawn or recalled from the supply chain.

This document serves as a best practice guide to implementing traceability in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable (Produce) Industry. The best practices recommended are based on GS1 global standards for supply chain management, data sharing and product identification. These standards were developed by industry to optimise business practices across supply chains world-wide.

1.2 Scope
This implementation guideline is built on the basis of GS1 Global Traceability Standard 2, which defines the minimum traceability requirements across all sectors. The guideline focuses on the additional traceability requirements that are specific for fresh fruit and vegetable traceability. The scope of this guideline establishes minimum requirements and best practices to share information between distribution channel participants.

This guideline:

■ Addresses traceability practices from pre-grower to retail store or foodservice operator (i.e. external traceability) to the point of consumer sale to support Critical Tracking Events (CTEs) such as product creation/(re)packaging, shipping, receiving, processing, and selling;

■ Considers traceability practices upstream from the grower, including guidance for seed or crop protection or treatments;

■ Applies to all fresh fruit and vegetable products for human consumption;

■ Applies to all levels which are uniquely identified including the base product or traded item (e.g. case/carton, consumer item), Logistic Unit (e.g. bin, container);

■ Includes all supply chain participants: growers/primary producers, packers/repackers, suppliers/distributors/traders/exporters or importers, wholesalers, retailers, and foodservice operators.

Traceability has become a strategic priority for organisations around the world. In addition to enabling increased supply chain quality, efficiency and transparency, the sharing and use of traceability data enables the development of solutions that enhance supply chain security and safety.

1.3 Audience
This is a practical guide that is intended for those responsible for implementing traceability in their company’s operations and supply chain. The document provides a guide for fresh produce growers/primary producers, packers/repackers, suppliers/distributors/traders/exporters or importers/wholesalers, retailers and foodservice operators (all organisations which impact the fresh produce supply chain). Individual organisations may perform any combination of these roles.

How do I Use the Document?

Step 1: If traceability or GS1 standards are new to your company, read the sections 1 & 2.

Step 2: Read Section 4 to determine your company’s role(s) in the supply chain.

Step 3: Read Section 5 to understand key traceability definitions and principles.

Step 4: Review guidelines specific for your role(s) as outlined in 6 through 8.

Step 5: Begin implementation using the reference documents/appendices as assistance. Users should ensure they understand specific government and/or industry requirements, or trading practices within the target markets they serve (e.g. document retention, origin/provenance, identification, e-commerce requirements).

Meat packing app makes quality control, receival, batch processing, high weight accountability with no unaccounted yield loss for processing all animal and fresh meat products. The premium meat packing software solution for modern meat packers and meat processors.


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.


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

Pre cooked lunch meat manufacturing app for food manufacturers of meatballs, luncheon, baloney, frankfurter, hot dog, taco meat, sausage manufacturing: manages pre-cooked meat inventory, pre-cooked meat quality control, orders & production, sales & shipping for reduced pre-cooked meat weight.


Pre cooked lunch meat manufacturing app:
For food manufacturers of meatballs, luncheon, baloney, frankfurter, hot dog, taco meat manufacturing: manages pre-cooked meat inventory, pre-cooked meat quality control, orders & production, sales & shipping for reduced pre-cooked meat weight.
[Meat Packing (Australian) edition of farmsoft - download brochure here]
Processed Meats: Convenience, Nutrition, Taste
Pre cooked lunch meat manufacturing app
Pre cooked lunch meat manufacturing app
Processed meat and poultry products like bacon, hot dogs, sausage, ham and other deli meats are great American traditions and iconic foods. In fact, bacon is often called the ultimate “conversion food” because it tempts even the strictest vegetarian. Processed meat and poultry products are commonly called “convenience meats” because they have already been prepared for easy and safe consumption by consumers. These products are offered in a variety of choices so the consumer can make the best food decision for their lifestyle.
Ninety six percent of Americans make meat and poultry products part of their diets. But recently, questions have arisen about processed meat and poultry products. What are they? How are they different from fresh meat and poultry products? Are they safe and nutritious? This consumer guide aims to provide the facts about processed meat and poultry products. It also offers a guide to the many choices available in the meat and poultry case today. In this way, armed with information, you can make the best choice for you and your family.
Processed Meat’s Ancient History
Historically, salting and smoking preserved meats and kept them safe to eat for longer periods of time.
Meat processing has its roots in the salting and smoking of meats that began centuries ago before refrigeration was available. Salting and smoking preserved meats and kept them safe to eat for longer periods of time. Many of these products are culturally important in other parts of the world like Europe and as people have immigrated to the U.S. in the last two centuries those traditions have developed into the U.S. culture.
While refrigeration is widely available today, over time, many people have come to appreciate the taste, variety and convenience that processed meats can offer.
The common thread is this: processed meats are fresh products that have been changed from their original state. Some have added ingredients like spices. Some are cooked and some are cured.
So What Exactly IS a Processed Meat?
Processing can take many forms. Processed meat and poultry products are a very broad category of many different types of products all defined by having undergone at least one further processing or preparation step such as grinding, adding an ingredient or cooking, which changes the appearance, texture or taste.
Some processed meat and poultry are ready-to-cook, like fresh breakfast sausages that contain meat ground with spices or other flavorful ingredients, or a turkey breast that is marinated and ready-to-cook.
The ready-to-cook category also includes uncooked smoked sausages that are mildly cured through the addition of sodium nitrite, an ingredient that imparts a characteristic pink color and distinct taste. Uncooked, smoked sausages require cooking before eating. Examples include kielbasa, mettwurst and Italian pork sausage.
Other processed meat and poultry are ready-to-eat. Some are smoked sausages that are cured and cooked. They include frankfurters, ham, knockwurst, bologna, mortadella and other luncheon meats. Other processed products such as sliced roast beef and turkey are not cured, but cooked with other ingredients to enhance flavor and more recently to improve food safety.
Linked, cooked smoked sausage like hot dogs and knockwursts are typically consumed steaming hot. Lunch meats or deli meats include products such as pimento loaf, olive loaf, sliced turkey, corned beef and cooked roast beef that are typically consumed without further preparation. Some traditional lunch meats are jellied, like souse and head cheese.
Other ready-to-eat processed products are cured and fermented using seasonings, sodium nitrite and lactic acid, which provides a tangy taste. These products include salami, pepperoni, summer sausage, thuringer and cervelat. Some are called dry and some are called semi-dry depending upon the moisture level in the final product.
The list goes on, but the common thread is this: processed meats are fresh products that have been changed from their original state. Some have added ingredients like spices. Some are cooked and some are cured. Some are ready-to-cook and some are ready-to eat.
Processed Meats Offer Good Nutrition
Processed meats are commonly made from beef, pork, chicken and turkey and each of these offer high quality protein, vitamins and minerals. They can fit into the U.S. Dietary Guidelines eating plans.
Meat and poultry are uniquely rich in protein and absorbable essential vitamins and minerals including iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. These foods are also rich in selenium, choline, vitamin B6, thiamine, niacin, and riboflavin.
Protein from animal sources, such as eggs, milk, beef, pork, poultry, or fish, is of the highest quality becuse it provides all of the essential amino acids. Vegetarian diets must contain a wide variety of plant protein sources in order to provide the complete array of amino acids needed for health that are naturally present in meat and poultry.
When it comes to iron and zinc, the type found in meat and poultry is more “bioavailable,” meaning they are more easily absorbed and utilized by the body, than these same nutrients from grains or vegetables.
Processed meat and poultry products – and all meat and poultry products – also are nutrient dense foods, meaning they provide a high amount of nutrition benefit per calorie.
While meat and poultry processing often uses salt for flavoring and to enhance food safety, meat and poultry processors have been actively engaged in efforts to reduce sodium and offer a wide array of choices with different sodium content, including reduced sodium, in which a product features 75 percent reduction from the original formulation, and low sodium, which contains 140 milligrams or less per serving.
Similarly, for those watching their fat intake, meat and poultry processors offer options that contain less fat.

Cured meat, ham, salami manufacturing app for maximum quality cured meat manufacturing, 100% accurate food safety & traceability. App guides users through the food cured meat manufacturing process including.  Cured meat, ham, bacon, salami manufacturing
Cured meat & ham manufacturing app
Cured meat & ham manufacturing app
Cured meat refers to any meat that's been preserved through the removal of moisture. By eliminating moisture from meat, it takes on new textural properties that are not conducive to the growth of bacteria. The most common way of achieving this is by using salt to draw the moisture out and create a new, more shelf-stable substance known as “cured meat.”

[Meat Packing (Australian) edition of farmsoft - download brochure here]
People have been curing meat for centuries, mainly as a way to preserve their food. Especially before the days of refrigeration, most cultures found ways of curing meats through processes that remove moisture from the food through the use of salt. And you’ll still find specialty meat shops in Italy or other parts of the world that cure their meats in cellars or other cool environments that aren’t necessarily refrigerated.
While there are certain types of meats that will only cure properly if stored at room temperature, most meats should always be stored in cold environments, like walk-in refrigerators.
How to Cure Meat (ham, salami, bacon, prosciutto) with Salt
Salt was once more valuable than gold. Since it has the power to prolong the shelf life of otherwise perishable foods, it’s no wonder why. The centuries-old practice of curing foods with curing salt is simple to do and has been perfected over the years to create some of our favorite and well-known delicacies, from prosciutto to pepperoni.
Dry Curing Ham, Salami, Bacon, Prosciutto:
To dry cure meat with salt, cover it entirely in salt for a full day. In order to make sure the meat is completely covered, fill a container with salt, place the meat on top, and pour more salt over until it’s buried. You can also add some flavorings (like celery seed and black pepper) at this point, if you want.
Equilibrium Curing
If you’re worried about wasting so much salt, there is another (more modern) method you can try. First, weigh the meat. Apply 3% of that weight’s worth of salt onto the meat, covering evenly and thoroughly, then use a vacuum sealer to seal everything up and let it sit in the refrigerator for about 5 days. This technique is called “equilibrium curing.”
No matter which method you choose, the basic result should be pretty much the same. Once the meat has had ample time to sit, you’ll notice that the texture will change dramatically. It should become tougher and dryer.
Warning Signs
If you notice a foul odor at any point in the process, that means that the salt was not properly applied and bacteria has begun to grow. There’s no real way to salvage meat after rot has begun, so if you find any indications of bacteria, it should be discarded right away.
Adding Flavors
After the meat is somewhat dehydrated, the fun part begins: adding flavors! There are endless combinations of herbs and spices you can use to create your very own signature cured meats, such as prosciutto. Simply shake off the majority of the salt (it’s okay if some stays on the outside) and coat the meat in your spice mixture.
Hang It to Dry Ham, Salami, Bacon, Prosciutto:

Food manufacturing app for IQF grains: manage entire grain IQF good manufacturing process, production, packaging, sales & shipping: QC, inventory, invoices.  IQF meat & poultry processing app
Most of our poultry products are frozen down with the IQF-method, but what does it really mean and why does it benefit you? You get the answer to that question here!

[Meat Packing of farmsoft - download brochure here]
Fresh poultry from frost
IQF stands for Individual Quick Freezing, and as the name suggests, it is a method where you quickly and efficiently freeze the products individually.
This gives a very short and fast freezing time, which ensures that the products are completely fresh when they arrive at your kitchen – all the way until you thaw them from the bag, prepare them and serve for your guests.
At the same time, the freezing process is so effective that no larger ice crystals are formed, which potentially can damage the meat cells. The meat thus preserves its natural taste and authentic structure, as well as the nutritional content is maintained, including all the good vitamins and minerals.
Did you know that our Chicken Supreme is frozen in a special freezing tunnel, which freezes the meat to -18 degrees in just 15 minutes. That’s what you call fresh poultry from frost!
Flexible and cost-effective cooking
Since our poultry products have been frozen individually, it also gives you the advantage that the products do not cling into one large ice block but can be picked up individually from the bag.
This makes it more flexible for you, as you can easily and quickly take up the number of products you need to use in your kitchen. This contributes to a more cost-efficient cooking and less food waste.
So, with IQF you do not only get fresh poultry from frost, but also more flexibility in your kitchen!
Growing consumer demand for ready to eat meals across the globe is propelling the individual quick freezing (IQF) industry, and the increasing availability of non-seasonal food commodities is expected to have a strong influence on the individual quick freezing (IQF) industry. Furthermore, the development and expansion of retail food chains in the advanced countries are also predicted to influence the individual quick freezing (IQF) industry significantly. Increasing government initiatives to minimize food wastage is forecasted to produce more possibilities for key players in the industry.
The benefits of this method of preparing frozen food are that the process isn't time-consuming. The exact time depends on the type of IQF freezer and the product. The short freezing prevents the formation of large ice crystals in the product's cells, which makes the product to be in its shape, color, smell, and taste after defrosting, to a far greater extent. An added advantage of IQF technology is its ability to separate units of the products during freezing, which produces higher quality product compared to block freezing. This advantage is also vital for food sustainability, as the consumer can defrost and use the exactly needed quantity. The greenhouse gas discharges during the production process are one of the main restraining aspects of the industry.
Rising consumer preference towards longer shelf-life, healthy food, and technological innovations in packaging will additionally fuel the expansion of the IQF fruits and vegetable market. Growing demand from food manufacturers to preserve food products for an extended period of your time for usage as an ingredient in final products is another primary expanding the IQF fruits and vegetable market.
Europe's regional market growth is often attributed to the high consumption of frozen foods products by the people within the region. As continuous research and development is required in this sector to induce the demand and maintain a firm's position in global market, Linde introduces new freezer in Quick Freezing at IPPE(International Production & Processing Expo)2018, The new CRYOLINE CWI CRYOWAVETM impingement freezer integrates the advantages of CRYOWAVE product agitation with impingement cryogenic gas flow into a single high-capacity solution, ideal for crusting or individually quick chilling (IQF) sliced and diced chicken, chicken wings, meatballs, sausages, and pizza toppings. The high-efficiency freezer can decrease operating costs and increase output or productivity. It also considerably decrease dehydration losses, which leads to improvements in product weight and overall yield.
Further key findings from the report suggest
Based on product, IQF fruits and vegetable markets cover the maximum segment as technological advancements and benefits of IQF fruits and vegetables has resulted in easy accessibility and affordability to the shoppers. The fast-paced routine has headed the consumer's inclination towards hygienic and no chemically altered fruit and vegetable products that eradicate the typical troubles of chopping and cleaning, thereby driving the IQF fruits and vegetable market on a more significant basis.
The North American segment is anticipated to grow at a very healthy CAGR during the forecast period. The countries covered within the North American area are expected to be the fastest-growing markets for individual quick chilling, due to the growing amount of investments in various technologies of food processing by different individual quick chilling equipment manufacturers and exposure to consumer preference for brand's unique taste, and zest is anticipated to drive this particular quick freezing (IQF) market over the following few years in North America.
Key participants include MAREL (Iceland), JBT (US), Products and Chemicals (US), Air Liquide (France), GEA (Germany), The Linde Group (Germany), Air and Messer Group (Germany). The other companies which are profiled include PATKOL (Thailand), OctoFrost Group (Sweden), Cryogenic Systems Equipment (US),

Farmsoft gives you the freedom to use any low cost hardware with the farmsoft meat packing app.

Low cost meat packing hardware inexpensive
Low cost meat packing hardware inexpensive (prices are roughly indicative for a meat processing plant with 10 meat processing / packing / meat boning stations). We do not sell meat packing hardware, you can buy your meat packing hardware from any vendor.







OLD MEAT PACKING HARDWARE SOLUTIONS
Old meat packing solutions tend to use expensive to purchase proprietary hardware that is often very expensive to install in a meat packing plant, and has excessive ongoing maintenance fees. These older meat packing solution vendors try to upsell you with hundreds of thousands of dollars of meat packing hardware. You don't have to waste precious resources that could be spent elsewhere in your meat packing plant.


Old solutions use outdated redundant and expensive technologies like RS232 networks which are expensive and inflexible, require a lot of expert configuration and maintenance. Old meat packing solutions often run only on Windows terminals which are slow, prone to viruses, and cost too much to purchase and maintain. Old meat packing solutions usually require you to purchase, administer, backup, and maintain your own server (expensive and a waste of your time and money).



Farmsoft offers an alternative, giving you the choice to use any inexpensive and low cost meat packing hardware for any sized meat packing and meat processing plant.








Administration and maintenance of meat packing plant hardware & I.T. infrastructure
Old meat packing solutions: $20,000+ per year
Modern farmsoft meat packing app: $0
You don’t need to purchase & administer servers (Windows, MS SQL, anti-virus, backup software) because farmsoft runs in the cloud. Less Windows OS’s that need constant fixing & virus removal. No proprietary equipment with expensive repairs, parts, and maintenance. Less network equipment, complexity, and even less cables means less things go wrong; resulting in massively reduced network administration & maintenance expenses.

It just works.







Terminal for data entry during meat packing process:
Old meat packing solutions: $2000

Modern farmsoft meat packing app: $200
Any Android / iOS tablet or phone / PC / Mac (old equipment is also compatible)



RFID reader (read animal RFID tags during slaughter, testing, evisceration, and inspection)
Old meat packing solutions: $3000

Modern farmsoft meat packing app: $150
Any USB/wireless RFID reader in sleeve or ruggedized version, any Android RFID reading device



Barcode reader for inventory control of livestock and meat inventory:
Old meat packing solutions: $3000

Modern farmsoft meat packing app: $150
Any USB barcode reader (wireless), any Android professional Barcode reading device, any Android phone/tablet.



Scales & printers for weighing livestock and packed meat
Old meat packing solutions: $3000

Modern farmsoft meat packing app: $400
Any scale that can dump weight to PC clipboard via USB. Any 300+ dpi printers.



Meat packing plant network & network installation
Old meat packing solutions: $50,000

Modern farmsoft meat packing app: $5000 (or as little as $200 for a small business)
Devices require only Wi-Fi, this cuts the cost of cables, routers, and installation drastically as opposed to running cables to every device.







Low cost meat packing hardware:


INEXPENSIVE MEAT PACKING TERMINALS
All terminal devices must run one of these browsers: Edge, Chrome, Opera, Brave, with 800x1200 min resolution & an always on internet connection of 0.5 M/bit minimum, no data is saved on your device, no app is installed.



PRINTING MEAT LABELS
To print from Android or iOS Install AirPrint etc, or purchase PaperCut (or similar), or the app from printer vendor to print PDF from browser ( 300+DPI required if you print barcodes).



USING YOUR OWN SERVER FOR MEAT PACKING
Don’t do this unless you absolutely must, standard solution runs from our data closest to you (New York, Berlin, or Sydney) and is included in your quote. Please enquire, there is a cost to use your own server (server etc not provided by us: specs: Win Svr2019+, 16GB RAM+, 4 GHz+, MS SQL 2019+). Or you can have an exclusive server in our data center (we administer & provide server, no other company will be using your exclusive infrastructure, available in USA, Canada, European Union, Australia).



READING BARCODES / RFID IN MEAT PACKING
If your device doesn’t have built in reader, for PC/Mac/Android/iOS use a USB or Bluetooth reader that dumps the data into focused field as keyboard text input. For Android, install an app like Barcode & QR code Keyboard or Barcode/NFC/OCR Scanner Keyboard etc that dumps data read into focused field and is activated from virtual keyboard. (None of these apps provided by us).



INEXPENSIVE MEAT PACKING SCALES
Scales must paste current weight to clipboard of the device (ie: the scale emulates keyboard USB transaction of CTRL V of the data). Test your chosen device before you commit.



LOW COST NETWORK FOR MEAT PACKING
You need an I.T. person to setup your network & devices, we can’t setup or advise on any of your hardware or operating systems or drivers or finance app; our advice is that your devices meet the requirements outlined on this page and that you test each device before committing to bulk purchases. Modern devices are wireless, installing multiple wireless mesh networks that have multiple nodes per network where the nodes are connected in daisy chain via CAT cables can be considerably cheaper than traditional wired networks. Cool rooms need a node inside each to allow full coverage. Example inexpensive mesh devices include TP-Link Deco M5* / TP-Link Dexo X20 / TP-Link Deco X68.

Advice from our clients: Buy extra nodes in case one fails and needs replacing (cant mix new models with old). Whitelist *farmsoft.net and *dropbox.com, block all sites that are not (or common trash sties) so devices can only used for farmsoft.


INEXPENSIVE TERMINALS THAT PRINT LOTS OF MEAT LABELS
Printing huge amounts of labels from an Android is not efficient, try using a Windows devices because Windows prints directly to the printer without cloud services slowing the transaction.



LOW COST MEAT PROCESSING & BONING STATION
On stations where printing is infrequent or not required, usually users are generally just looking at the boning spec and selecting “Next” animal from this screen, or doing some simple data entry such as at kill box, head removal, eviscerations etc; a simple android tablet suspended on an arm with splash cover is very inexpensive and effective for these stations. You can use an inexpensive USB RFID and or bar-code reader with your Android device.



INEXPENSIVE VOICE CONTROL MEAT PACKING APP
Activate voice control on your device. With the farmsoft app open, simply shout “Touch Next” to move to the next animal (or “Touch previous” to go back, or “Touch finish” to finish the animal, or “Touch Carton” to print a carton label. Voice control is a feature of your devices operating system and not farmsoft.







Setting benchmarks in meat hardware & processing
As a full-line supplier, our state-of-the-art meat processing apps you can add your chosen hardware to and cover the entire production value chain, from the reception of live animals to the dispatch of finished products.

We work with all processes in the slaughter, cutting and further processing hall as well as case ready and food service packing, all of which can be integrated with the farmsoft meat packing & processing app.

Whatever your location, business size or objectives we can help you to operate at peak productivity and enhance the overall quality and value of meat products. Farmsoft products and solutions help meat processors optimize yield, quality, throughput and other critical factors across the whole value chain.

Ranging from individual units for specific processes such as weighing, cutting and labeling, to complete solutions such as deboning, trimming, meat preparation, portion-cutting and forming lines, our equipment is built for the harsh meat processing environment, with hygiene and safety always in mind.







WELLSAWS

Question: We use 2 Jarvis Wellsaw 404’s, which are good, but they keep breaking their gear drives, very annoying. Does anyone have suggestions for a good alternative? The Jarvis 444’s are the obvious choice, but they are expensive and over twice the weight. We also have a few sawzalls, but the cutting is not as precise and they aren’t made for wet environments, and short out with regularity.

Answer: I would suggest you call Don at Equipment Distributing of America (402-592-9360). We have his equipment (EFA brand saws) and have used it hard for the last 5 years and it has held up well. If you tell him what you are using the saws for he will get you set up with the right equipment. A tool balancer is a good way to offset the weight of the heavier saws. They will cost you more than a well saw but a cheap saw that does not work isn’t much help.

WATER ACTIVITY METER

Question: We are doing some work on our retail establishment program and are wondering about firms that use water activity meters in-house. Is anyone using one, what kind, and are they expensive to purchase or operate?

Answer #1: Check out www.aqualab.com. They are a leader in water activity measuring devices and provide lots of outreach to customers. They are not cheap but I have only found one other company that offers a meter– can’t remember name right off hand. I have been to some of Aqualab training it was very useful.

They have bench top meters and a portable handheld device too.

Answer #2: Decagon Devices/Aqualab (same company) makes a portable one that costs $1500.00-$2,000.00, I think. Get it. Anyone who manufactures a shelf stable meat product should have this as standard equipment because it is a very valuable instrument in the data it provides. Average test time is about 5 minutes and it needs to be calibrated every day that it is used. We use one all the time and have thought about upgrading but the portable model is reliable and easy to use anywhere in the plant. In my opinion it is a very wise purchase/investment.

FAT ANALYZER

Question: Just wanting to check in with everyone about fat analyzers for ground beef. Who has experience with these for a smaller scale operation (a couple hundred lbs. of grind a day) and what brands do you prefer and why? Any specific models to stay away from or potential calibration issues? Below is a list of a few units I have researched a little, but feel free to offer up suggestions on these or any other units:

CEM ProFat Meat Analyzer
Univex FA-73 Fat Analyzer
DSC HFT 1000F
Answer #1: We use the Univex. We use it every week. Works fine for our needs. No major complaints. Simple operation and not overly expensive to purchase. Here’s a post I did for our customers. Shows pics of the unit in action. http://johnscustommeats.blogspot.com/2012/01/fat-fun.html

Answer #2: We use the Univex. Super easy and simple. Well built and durable.

Answer #3: I use the Univex FA-73. Sent it back to the company once for repair but no problems since. Very affordable and easy to work and read.

Answer #4: I hate to be the voice of dissent in this conversation but if accuracy is what you are looking for I would not recommend the Univex.

I did a fair amount of research on this a year ago and decided to go with the DSC instead. It cost more but is more accurate in that it actually gives a digital read out of the fat content and is not subject to interpretation like the Univex. I’ve used the Univex already and while it is durable it did not have the accuracy that we were looking for.

The DSC is what we decided to go with and it works well but I’ll be honest that it bugs me that cooking a sample and measuring the grease run off is the popular way to measure fat content.

Plain and simple it is dumb, but until I find a biomedical expert to help me research my idea for a tester, we’ll have to settle for what we have. I know that there are other options like Near Infrared technology but those options are expensive and appear to require a lot of calibration to remain accurate.

Answer #5: We use the Univex FA-73. Works well for our needs. We do 600 lbs. of ground a week. No problems easy to use.

Answer #6: Accuracy point well taken, my biggest issue with these small samplers is just that – small sample size, because:

If you only have a 1-2 ounce sample for 500+ lbs. of meat, how representative is that 1-2 oz.? It depends on how homogenous your grind is. So regular sampling is important throughout a run.
If you can only sample finished ground, and not trim, you’re already at your end product stage. It’s hard to add fat back in, and impossible to take it out (without grinding more).
After using a DSC HTF 2000 for a number of years, we found a used Anyl Ray fat sampler for a couple grand. It measures 13 lbs. of trim at a time, non-destructively. We grind 10,000 lbs. in a day, so this was a must for us.

Still, all this said, it is worth keeping things in perspective and not getting too over-the-top on accuracy, especially for very small plants: you can be 20% over on your fat, and be legally compliant with your label. So 90% lean/ 10% fat can really be up to 12% fat, and 85% lean/15% fat can really have up 18% fat, per 9 CFR 317.309(h)(5). And you can be under on your fat as much as you want with no regulatory consequence.

SANITATION SWABS

Question: We are considering purchasing a quick swab test kit for spot checking tabletops, work surfaces, machines, etc. as part of our SSOP program. Some read presence of glucose, others read presence of proteins. I would love some feedback – Do you find these kits effective? Useful? Is there one kit type/manufacturer/source that you would recommend? We are flying blind here – would love some input, either positive or negative.

Answer: A lot of people use Charm swabs. Easy to learn, easy to use. http://www.charm.com/en/products/atp-hygiene-swabs.html

ROLLSTOCK Low cost meat packing hardware inexpensive MACHINES

Question: Any of you use a rollstock machine for small batches if you process for multiple farmers? Say you are making sausage for 5 farmers, ~100-200 lbs for each of them, and can run them through the rollstock one after another.

Another way to ask is what’s the minimum batch size for using rollstock, and can you easily segregate product from different farmers?

Everyone likes how rollstock packaging looks, but can a small plant really afford to have/use one?

Also, are there any decision trees or guides out there to help a processor choose the right packaging equipment for a given size/type of business?

Answer #1: Yes we use a rollstock for packaging small batches and multiple farmers. The question of easy segregation is going to depend on the competency of the crew running it.

We use our rollstock every day and every product that we run on it would be considered a small batch. The trick is good communication and some sort of break between batches. We typically leave a whole advance cycle in between the different batches and the tags for each batch are passed down to the end and lined up as the product exits the machine. The multiple options for regulating the machine speed also help to facilitate the smaller batches but for some products it also helps to stage it before it gets to the machine.

I would suspect that most small processors that are running small batches aren’t going to have much in the way of real estate to put most Rollstock machines and the RA-200 from Rollstock, Inc (one of the smaller ones on the market) would be sufficient for the average processor’s needs.

Answer #2: There is no problem doing what you want to do with small batches, all you have to do is take a black marker and make a mark on the edge of last package and then start with the next order. We have had a roll stock for a couple of years now and wouldn’t be without it. You won’t believe the time it saves. We don’t even start to package until we have 6-8 hogs cut because the machine is so fast. It does take some getting used to as you have to adjust your cutting a little and watch for sharp bones but you have to do that with vacuum pouches too.

Answer #3: With us it depends on the whole day production. If we only have 200 lbs. of bulk product (5-6 lbs.) we won’t bother since on our machine being so large we would waste more film then what is required to the packaging. We do a fair amount of slicing bacon for farmers and we just leave a empty package to separate between each.

Answer #4: I liked the answers that have been posted so far, and found them helpful, as we ask ourselves this same question regularly. The answers so far have looked at the question from an operational perspective.

The plant also needs to look at it from a financial perspective. Here is a quick scenario:

Assume the dealer will finance the machine. Say it cost $80,000, no money down, 4 year term, 5% interest then the monthly carry is $1,842. Anyone can download a free amortization schedule and very easily play with this – change price, term, interest rate. But the above is not far-fetched. (It does assume no money down, which may be unlikely!)

Your standard processing fee is what it is, and is unlikely to cover the additional carry. But say you charge $.50/lb to process that sausage. at 200 lbs/week/customer, with 5 customers doing it, that is 5 * 200 * $.5 = $500/week, or $2000 per month. That is enough to pay the monthly carry for the machine. However, some of those charges are needed to cover labor, spices, and rollstock plastic. But you can do other things with the machine, such as pack a number of other cuts (Provided you have the necessary plates). Is the extra speed and packaging quality worth the extra monthly costs? Only if you have enough volume to support it. The packaging quality will definitely attract customers to you, IF there is a robust packing economy in your area. A big if in many parts of the country.

You need to run these scenarios before you pay. Remember, the easiest person to lie to is yourself!



STEAM BOILER

Question: I’m thinking I’m going to need a steam boiler for the small slaughter / processing plant I’m building in west Texas. Does anyone have any wisdom or experience with these things that they would be willing to share? I would like to buy one unit that I can use for cleaning and steam injection into my smokers. Is that possible or even desirable? Can you inject the same steam that you use for cleaning into the smokers?

The plant will be approx. 5,000 sq.ft. with a remote inedible room and I plan to eventually have two single truck smokers. I don’t have any idea what size unit I’ll need.

Will it be practical to run a hose from the plant out to the inedible room… maybe 50 – 75 ft.?

Do you have to add chemicals to the water?

How much trouble are these things to operate and maintain?

Is it better to buy electric or gas?

Answer #1: We bought a small electric boiler to run our sausage peeler- it is a Reimers Electric Boiler. I looked long and hard to find this brand. It was the right price and works very well.

There are some advantages to having a boiler for hot water and for your smokehouses but it is not needed. We have been running a 10,000 sq. foot plant that does about 175 head of beef/bison and makes about 15,000 lbs sausage a week and have never had a boiler. Make sure you check your insurance and workers comp.- live steam can affect your ratings.

Answer #2: From the mechanical stand point you will need to know what your “load” is, i.e. how much steam you need for the task.

For the cleaning side you may want to start with a pressure washer that has a steam cleaner option. They typically use fuel oil in a reservoir that has a burner to make steam. Stay portable so you can use it for multiple tasks.

Steam is “clean” just by its nature (too hot to grow anything), but the delivery system most likely will need to be stainless for food grade. The commercial kitchen manufacturers make steam generators or “boilers” that run kettles, boasters and the like. Hey, may be the avenue to start for your smokers! Gas is always cheaper to buy, maintain and operate than electric.

Answer #3: A good heating guy can size your unit. Electric boilers are great for point of use but I’d do some energy calculations to determine what to put in for hot water. Steam production is going to end up being natural gas at today’s prices except for point of use. About $7 per million btus compared to $30 for electric. Propane was just as high a few months ago but is down closer to $14 per million now. Geothermal electric can be cheaper than gas long term in some situations. especially in a non-demand situation. We get 4.8 cents a kilowatt before demand charges on rural member co-op power. Staying off the demand produces a million btus for about $4. The downfall on geo’s are the upper limit on temps are too low that you still have to finish with gas.

Personally, I’d heat exchange potable water for smoke house steam just because I wouldn’t want the water heating chemicals on my product.

Just a wild guess not knowing at all what you mean by “small” you’ll want at least a 10-15 hp boiler. And personally I’d consider the options carefully. Boilers give up 10-20% over the high efficiency gas hot water heaters. More when you count storage losses compared to a tankless or tankless hybrid like the Eternal.

Answer #4: I installed a gas-fired smoker a few years back and learned a bit from it that may help you. It was an Alkar smoker which held 12 trucks if I remember correctly. It was purchased used and I moved it to another location and installed it.

The main heat source was natural gas and a separate steam system was used to control the humidity during the various stages of the smoke process. I used a small electric steam spa boiler for the steam side to add steam to the cabinet when the recipe called for it. I liked it because it had a small footprint (about the size of a sewing machine) and it only fired off when the smoker called for humidity. I wouldn’t think you need a boiler at all for single truck smokers. I imagine there is more natural gas in west Texas than should be legal so I would use that or tie it into one of those wind turbines out behind the barn.

Low cost meat packing hardware inexpensive
Low cost meat packing hardware inexpensive
Bottom line in my opinion is I would contact a smoker manufacturer(s) and tell them what you want to do. I say Alkar only because that was what showed up on the lowboy. They were very helpful when I needed tech help, etc. We had another new two truck unit made by an outfit in Oregon which was very nice but the name slips my mind right now, but Google is your friend.

Answer #5: We process roughly 20/40’ish beef (or equivalent) per week depending on time of year, not including wild game seasons, and run three smoke ovens nearly continuously. We use a tankless gas on demand water heater. I love it. I can set my desired temperature and carry on without a hitch. Our gas bill runs under $900 per year. After cleaning, I crank off the tank for sanitizing. More than serves our needs.

Answer #6: We don’t use steam in our smoke house. We don’t do ready to eat and even if we did I’m not sure we’d produce a product that required steam under appendix a. We built our smoke house. Old fashion poured masonry, insulated, and lined it with stainless steel. We actually heat our smoke house with hickory logs. I don’t do humidity control. I tied the combustion fans into the thermostat so it gravity drafts when the temp is ok and kicks the fire up when it’s calling for heat.

There was a time when you were required to have 180 degrees for slaughter. I’ve not been in the industry long enough to ever see steam be required for cleaning. I’m still convinced its better than all the chemical interventions because of the variables that must be adhered to with bleach, quat, etc.

I think the common cleaning now days is hot enough water to remove the fat and blood and then sanitizers. That’s what we do.

LABEL MACHINES/ INVENTORY MANAGEMENT

Question: Our local meat processor is able to place the name of the producer, the cut name, weight, etc. on each label. However, the processor says they have no method of reporting the total quantity of each type of cut from each steer so that the producer can have an accurate inventory of what a particular animal yielded. When one of the producers called the label machine manufacturer, he was told there is no labeling machine in existence that can give a cumulative inventory of what it labeled. In other words, for a producer to determine the output of an animal, he/she must handle each package individually and manually create an inventory. It would seem there should be a more efficient, less “hands-on” way of doing this. What do you think?

Answer: You should do the following:

Find out what type of label system or brand the company works with- i.e. Hobart, Case, Mettler Toledo, Berkel, etc.
Find the model number of the scale and call the company the services the scale. Try to get a hold of a service technician that works with your processor, as opposed to the sales dept.
Get the owners manual. Find in the owners manual where it describes how to get the “run totals” for item numbers or PLU’s for the cuts of meats you are interested in. Scales are basically little computers. Computers do what? They collect information.
Once you have confirmed that the scale is capable of creating this information, offer to pay the service technician to come in and train the processor on how to get the information.
For example, I work with Mettler Toledo Scales. I started out with only the 8461 Deli Scale in my plant. It is capable of providing the information you are seeking. I now use an auto weigh label system, also by Mettler Toledo (the 8361/706 system). This also provides the same information. These are older systems. Unless your processor is using scales from the 1970’s or earlier they should be able to do this. If not, you just might need to ask them to create a hand written report. Offer them $0.05/lb. more to do it. For a 700 lb. carcass that would be $35.00 dollars, which would help cover the processor’s cost of creating the inventory by hand and ensure that the customer gets the information they want.

SMOKERS

Question: We are looking for a one-truck pass-through smoker. We are looking at:

Enviro-Pak: CVU-650E
Friedrich: FMP1000E
Vortron: 3800-PG
MPBS Industries, FlavorCook Model STH-1000E
Which would you recommend? Does anyone have experience with these brands and would recommend one over the other? Any bad experiences? Any sources for used pass-through smokers?

Answer #1: We just bought 3 two truck pass–through houses from Scott and are very happy with them. I would look at Pro Smoker before I did a Vortron and would look at a pellet generator if you are planning on using natural wood smoke. With the new Scott houses we went from a 4 hour smoke/cook cycle to a 1 ½ hour cycle and a much more consistent finished product.

Lad Rudik is the owner of Scott, and you can reach him at lad[at]scottpec.com. Their web address is scottpec.com. I didn’t do much research, I saw them at a trade show and started asking questions. One day, Lad called me and asked if he could stop by, as he would be in the area installing a smokehouse at a small plant in WI. I told him I didn’t have any questions but would like to come with to the install to see how they set up the smokehouse and how smooth the install went. He checked with the plant owner and then invited me to watch the set-up.

It went so well I was sold. The Scott brand would be the next smokehouses we would own. Years ago, I started with a block gravity house. The first micro-processor house we had was a Smith, then an EnviroPak and then a Vortron. I would not say any of them were bad, In fact I have two Vortron 1,000 lb. houses for sale. For us it was the right decision, the speed and consistency of the Scott house is just what we needed.

Answer #2: Donovan Daws is also Scott dealer. 970-692-3905.

Answer #3: I’d just like to add my 2 cents worth on the endorsement of Scott smokehouses. We added a Scott 1,000 lb. single truck smokehouse to our operation about a year ago and are extremely happy with it. The smoke production is fantastic. It puts out product in much less time and produces a superior product. We also run an Alkar 750. The Alkar is a good smokehouse but it doesn’t compare to the Scott.

RAIL HEIGHT

Question: We are putting meat rails in our processing facility — we do not do any slaughter. We receive 1/4 steer, 1/2 hog, and whole lamb & goats. We have found USDA guidelines for slaughter facilities saying that the top of the rail must be 9′ away from the highest point on the ground for headless hog. This seems quite high for our cut & wrap facility.

Answer #1: You should keep the carcass at least 1 ft. from the floor. So measure the carcass you are processing then determine what hook size you are going to use, do the math and you will know how high the top of rail will need to be. We do full sides of beef and our top of rail is 11 ft. Here are two companies that design and make rail systems that can help you: Hantover and Bowlin Manufacturing.

Answer #2: In my plant inside the cooler the top of my rails are at 7.5 ft. I wouldn’t go any lower than that. 7.5 ft to 8 ft should work fine for what your doing. It is exactly how I have carcasses hanging in my plant. At 7.5 ft., bigger hogs or longer hogs become an issue with touching the ground. Over 8 ft and generally nobody is going to be able to grab the hooks off the rail once you have broken down the carcass that your working on.

Answer #3: 9 feet sounds right. Once you hang the hog from it’s back legs and it spreads down it will be 7 feet plus.

Answer #4: I believe what you have read are what you stated…”guidelines”. USDA won’t tell you how it HAS to be, just as long as you can prevent contamination of the product.

Answer #5: I wouldn’t go under 9′. Just my advice. If you go lower and you end up with hogs with any size on them, you’ll be creeping a little too close for comfort on the floor. Our rails are 11.5′ but we hang full sides. I have a few hogs in here now that are easily pushing 6′ long hanging and that doesn’t include the roller or hook. I’d plan for worse case scenario. Measure rollers, hooks, gambrels, etc.. add to 12″ safety zone from floor, factor in high end length of carcasses, and you’ll have your needed height.

SCALES

Question: What type of printing scale would work well for a custom, retail use? What software is compatible with the whole system?

Answer #1: I’ve been researching this same issue. Found several software products that have lots of capabilities but are very pricey. $20 to $30k. Seems that if you are able and willing to do some of your own programming you can save considerable dollars. But that takes time so we each have to make a business decision on how much value the software adds to the bottom line. I think most printers can be customized for whatever labels you need.

Answer #2: I attended a really good workshop at the 2013 New England Meat Conference where scales, inventory reports and invoicing were being discussed. Several people seemed to be working on some solutions. After the workshop I spoke with a really helpful processor who recommended the Torrey LSQ-40L scale for printing out labels that had the correct sized font for USDA recommendations.

In August, my backup scale for my poultry processing facility failed and I bought a Torrey LSQ-40L. I really wish I could find the woman who recommended it so she could help me with it. I have finally found the right labels, I think, but I have yet to be successful with printing them. The next step is to tackle transferring the info on the scale into a database. I think that will be a big learning curve and I think I even need to buy something that is an intermediate piece of technology between the scale and the computer. I’m not sure.

Answer #3: I use Mettler Toledo scales in my plant. They have a very reasonable price software program that you can pick up as well and can network all the scales to your desk for price changes, etc. There are many great options out there. If your on a budget like most of us this is great option. I would describe the system as 80% of what I really would like to have at my plant. It isn’t perfect but it is well below the cost of many of the systems that are out there.

Answer #4: We have Ishidas. They work much better than the CAS machines we had. Just like people have recommended to buy refrigeration through someone that will work with you, I’d recommend the same thing for a label machine. Those hours in the office on the network computer with the IT person trying to communicate with label machines to get labels printed so you can load a truck are very frustrating. And we process two shifts and ours always seemed to fail at a time the service tech wouldn’t answer his phone. And remember, USDA takes labeling issues very serious. It’s the largest reason for recalls.

Answer #5: We use a CAS CL5000 and it comes with a pc based program “CLworks” to keep prices updated. It provides barcoding for POS and I can keep multiple customer’s price lists stored in it. We purchased it without the Ethernet option which I would rethink if I were to purchase again but the rs232 connection is sufficient for our needs. Overall it is a reliable scale and the ability to connect with a computer makes a worthwhile investment.

I haven’t looked into printing inspection information on it since we only use it for weight and pricing purposes, the USDA required information is printed using Labelview software. Labelview doesn’t have the capabilities to connect with a scale but I know that the upgraded version of the software “Codesoft” is able to do it and based on my knowledge of Labelview it is something we may look into down the road.

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