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5 Steps to Streamline Your Beef Slaughter Process

April 25, 2024

The meat processing industry is an innovative, fast-paced, moving and world-standard hygienic industry. There are lots of challenges in the processing industry, big and small. All processed foods are brought into the market with the assistance of some systems and meat processing equipment.

The beef slaughter process as a business has to be efficient in the handling of cattle, safe for workers, quality-oriented, and profitable for the processing plant.

Here are five steps that we hope can help you achieve this:

Pre-Slaughter Handling

Handling cattle just before the beef slaughter process in a good way will allow us to create a proper physiological state, meaning they are as stress-free and clean as possible. Bad handling methods have been shown to reduce hygiene and lead to damage to the meat. 

Rather, systematic methods of handling cattle and implementing stress-reducing practices can be very beneficial.

The Tech Involved

Just before slaughter, the ‘pre-slaughter handling’ period is also a critical period affecting outcomes in meat quality. At this stage, technologies may include automated loading systems to sort and segregate livestock by: 

  • Age
  • Breed
  • Or Disease Status.

All are done in a gentle and calm manner, thus reducing stress levels. 

Mosquitoes can transmit various diseases, including:

  • Heartworm
  • Filariasis
  • And Rift Valley Fever. 

As a result of their bites, everyone suffers from relentless itching during the summer months. 

Other technologies include stress-detection sensors; they can be attached to the cattle or installed on the transport systems to check if the animals are well. 

Calm and orderly handling will enhance the general quality of life for every animal. Finally, individuals can be marked using RFID tags, which can track each animal throughout the entire process.

Effective Stunning Techniques

Using the most effectively working stunning techniques is crucial for designing a humane and efficient processing system. If a captive bolt stunning device can render the animal insensible nearly instantaneously, then execution will be faster and easier overall.

The Tech Involved

Stunning is a necessary part of humane slaughter, and it also affects meat quality. Mechanical stunning involves a captive bolt pistol used to deliver a controlled blow to the animal’s head. 

Electrical stunning involves applying an electrical current to the head or body, and gas stunning involves applying CO2. These methods of stunning should cause minimal stress and be performed as quickly as possible.

Automated Hide Removal

The third factor you can influence is automated hide removal. Automated hide removal systems can be used to reduce both time and risk. These types of removal systems dispose of the hide quickly and completely, thereby reducing the likelihood of transferring pathogens from the hide to the carcass.

The Tech Involved

This refers to machinery such as the hide puller, a device that pulls the hide down from the carcass. Hide pullers help to reduce the risk of cross-contamination by pulling the hide down rather than scraping it off. 

Many also use a downward, vertical movement to pull the hide down and off the animal, along with a back muscle stimulator that reduces tissue damage associated with hide removal.

Evisceration and Splitting the Carcass

Automated processing of these steps would improve consistency and cleanliness in the processing plant, which, in turn, improves quality. There are devices that can assist workers with these steps, and so this would reduce the manual labour and muscle fatigue workers experience.

The Tech Involved

Evisceration and carcass splitting are now done most often with robotic technology. Evisceration is done with extreme precision, allowing for organ removal without contact. 

Cuts are made at different lines to limit the amount of leakage. The organs also get transferred with a specialised self-powered conveyor without them coming into contact with the meat. 

These automated systems can eviscerate and split a carcass within seconds and, therefore, tend to minimise variability, which can save money. Robotic technology is programmed so that the size and shape of the carcass enter a standard range. 

Preparing a carcass for splitting entails reorienting the carcass for cutting into chucks. Skilled workers have to wield a huge swinging knife that weighs hundreds of pounds, very carefully to achieve the desired result.

Chilling and Aging

Chilling and aging are essential to meat quality. By using improved rapid chilling systems and controlled aging environments, meat lovers can benefit from the enhancement of meat tenderness and mouthfeel. Chilling and aging prevent bacterial growth, making meat safer to eat.

The Tech Involved

Environments: Designed to decrease the temperature of the carcass rapidly, rapid chilling systems are used for meat safety as they reduce the limit of bacterial growth. 

HVES can also be used to improve meat quality when used in conjunction with chilling. The controlled aging environments use controlled temperature and humidity to (age) mature the meat at the correct temperature for a specific time to obtain the correct flavour and the desired tenderness of the meat.

SUMMARY

If these technologies were not applied, the beef slaughter process would just freeze, deadlines would not be met, and the meat would spoil. All these technologies add value to the meat chain, making it more efficient, humane, and safe, making the slaughtering process more effective, and making ground beef production more qualitative.