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How to become a Meat Process Worker

meat process worker careers

What does a Meat Process Worker do?

Meat process work is the slaughtering and manufacturing process that produces meat and meat products.

Jobs are available in a variety of settings, including:

  • abattoirs, possibly as a slaughterman/woman or production line worker, where livestock is humanely killed and prepared
  • wholesale meat factories, cutting, de-boning and preparing carcasses before they are sold to retailers
  • butcheries, specialising in preparing meat to precise catering specifications
  • meat plants, where meat is processed in a number of ways.
Production line work can be repetitive, and attention must be paid to cleanliness, hygiene and food safety.

What's the working environment like working as a Meat Process Worker?

Meat process workers usually work 40 hours a week, sometimes on a shift system, although part-time work is often available. Overtime is common.

Lifting and handling carcasses can be physically demanding. The work requires the wearing of protective clothing such as overalls, hats, hairnets and rubber boots.

Abattoirs and meat processing plants use noisy machinery and there can be a distinctive smell which some find unpleasant. It is often cold as some work is carried out in chill rooms and refrigerated areas, for which special clothing is provided.

What does it take to become a Meat Process Worker?

To be a meat process worker you should:

  • be prepared for work involving the slaughter of live animals for food production
  • be strong and physically fit
  • be able to work as part of a team
  • be good at working with your hands
  • be able to maintain concentration when tasks are repetitive
  • have an awareness of hygiene and health and safety issues.

Meat Process Worker Career Opportunities

Most meat processing, slaughtering, manufacturing and packaging takes place in factories or meat plants. Most companies are large, but there are a few specialist smaller companies producing products like pâté.

Meat process workers can progress to supervisory and management posts or into quality control, product development and other related areas, such as food marketing. It is possible to become a meat inspector by studying for further qualifications.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Meat Process Worker that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Meat Training Council
PO Box 141
Winterhill House
Snowdon Drive
Milton Keynes
MK6 1YY
Tel: 01908 231062
www.meattraining.org.uk

The Worshipful Company of Butchers
Butchers Hall
87 Bartholomew Close
London
EC1A 7EB
Tel: 020 7606 4108
www.butchershall.com

Meat Hygiene Service (MHS)
Kings Pool
Peasholme Green
York
YO1 7ZZ
Tel: 01904 455501
www.food.gov.uk/enforcement/meathyg/mhservice

Facts and Stats:

  • The biggest curry was made in Essex in 1998 and weighed 2.65 tonnes
  • Restaurant grader, Fred Magel of Illinois USA, ate out a record 46,000 times in 50 years.
  • The most expensive meal recorded cost £13,091.20 for three in 1997, at Le Gavroche in London.
  • Denmark is the country with the highest calorie consumption per capita, closely followed by Portugal and then the USA. The UK does not rank in the top 10.

Courses to help you become a Meat Process Worker