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The Basics of the Meat Processing Industry

No one can deny the rapid growth and expansion of the global meat industry; it has supplied millions of tons of meat in every corner of the world. Apart from the obvious products offered, like drumsticks and steak, meatpacking can offer a lot more. The meat processing and packing industry also produce inedible items that come from the animal by-products like fats for various cooking uses, animal feeds, glues, fertilizers, leather and a number of essential ingredients in making cosmetics. Therefore, numerous companies under the meatpacking and processing industry has employed thousands of employees from different countries in order to steadily keep up with the growing global demand.

An Idea of the Locations

Countries differ in a lot of aspects and that includes the rate of their export and consumption of meat products. Let take India for example, which has ranked high up on the list of largest meat exporter, despite the fact that cows are sacred in their country due to the majority being Hindu; the Hindu religion opposed the slaughtering of cows and thus the act is considered illegal. The main meat export of India is not made from cows or pigs, instead, they process meat from water buffalo, which is also called ‘carabeef.’ The United States, combined countries from the European Union and Brazil would rank at the top of the list when it comes to countries with high consumption and production of beef products. The country with the largest production and consumption of pork products would be China.

Process in the Meat Packing Industry

The conditions and environment that the animal experience, while it was still alive greatly, contributes to the quality of the meat. Factors like feed quality, levels of stress and living situations play essential roles in how the meat will come out after the slaughtering process. An animal is stunned before it can be slaughtered; by stunning the animal, it will not feel any kind of pain, thus making it a crucial step in the process. A slice in the throat of the carcass is made after the slaughter in order to bleed it out. Meat packers apply various processes depending on the animal and the kind of product they’re trying to achieve but the basics always include the complete removal of skin, hair, and dirt from the animal’s carcass. After the blood, hair, dirt and skin is removed, then the meat packers can work on cutting open the carcass in order to remove most of the internal organs. Carcasses that have gone through the entire cleaning process need to be refrigerated for not less than 24 hours before it can be cut and separated into retail, consumption and wholesale items. Majority of the meat packing companies hire skilled employees to manually cut the meat instead of just loading it into a specialized machine. Companies do this because cutting meat is not as simple as it sounds since it involves numerous considerations like meat quality and bone depth.

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