High noise levels, dangerous equipment, slippery floors, harmful chemicals and musculoskeletal issues are causing illness and injury rates in the meat packaging industry to be 2.5 times higher than the national average, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
While ground beef remains a major supermarket meat department revenue generator, alternatives such as ground pork, chicken and turkey also are becoming more popular as consumers seek newer and healthier meal options.
How to avoid a chemical calamity: The safety of workers who clean and sanitize meat and poultry facilities and equipment is highly dependent on the training they receive in the handling and use of chemicals.
With meat and poultry producers and supermarket meat department operators determined to protect proteins from pathogens and other contaminants, garment suppliers look to develop more effective designs.
Uncovering the best ways to cut water and energy use in meat and poultry plants is akin to solving a puzzle. While obvious measures alone can lead to big paybacks, it takes patience and creativity for operators to uncover all possible sources of waste and the best strategies for optimal gains.
The U.S. is an outlier in the move by major meat-producing countries to create systems that track meat back to its source. Unlike many other nations, the U.S. has no mandatory national traceability guidelines for domestic producers.
Process controls play a key role in the effective operation of meat and poultry plants. By setting performance targets for workers and having a system that identifies whether the objectives are being met, processors can quickly gauge plant efficiencies and identify areas for improvement.
While concerns about health issues such as obesity, diabetes and heart attacks scare many consumers away from foods cooked in breading and batter, a large base of buyers still embrace fried chicken, which remains popular in foodservice and grocery settings.
Check out the February 2019 issue of The National Provisioner, featuring our cover story on Smithfield Foods' advances towards reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, the 2019 Seafood Report, and much more.