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What Slaughterers and Meat Packers Do

Slaughterers and meat packers kill and clean animals, divide carcasses into manageable sections, and grind or otherwise prepare and pack products, such as boxed beef, for shipping to distribution centers.


Slaughterers and meat packers typically do the following:

Slaughterers and meat packers may use large, suspended power saws for quartering beef carcasses, knives for boning, or wrapping machines and forklifts for packing and shipping the meat. Most food-manufacturing plants require slaughterers and meat packers to clean, salt, and cut beef quarters and large portions into tenders and chucks to prepare them for retail sale.

Slaughterers and meat packers typically work in either slaughtering yards or processing facilities. They may be rotated through stations, doing different tasks each shift.

Some types of slaughterers follow religious specifications. For example, halal and kosher slaughterers follow strict guidelines during the slaughtering process to make sure that the product can qualify for religious specifications of what is permissible to eat.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition