What is meat processing?
Meat processing involves animal slaughter at facilities where the meat is to be sold or kept on-site for canning, cooking, curing, freezing, or making meat products. It also includes preparing byproducts such as lard, gelatine, or tallow.
Meat processing uses large quantities of water and generates wastewater which includes significant amounts of organic matter such as fat, blood, manure, hair, feathers, and bones. This wastewater can also contain disease-causing organisms, bacteria, parasite eggs, oil, grease, salt, nitrogen and ammonia compounds, phosphorus, and chlorine.
Air pollution generated by meat processing can include particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, and hazardous air pollutants. Other byproducts of meat processing include odors, noise, and solid waste for treatment or disposal.
The slaughtering, processing, and packaging of meat has long been associated with a high rate of accidents, injuries, and illnesses caused by handling bacteria or infected carcasses or tissues. Meat processing has a much higher injury and illness rate than the average U.S. factory. Because of the repetitive motion involved in meat processing, worker safety and health issues also include ergonomic concerns.
This description is based on the information found in the Web links listed with this topic.
Web Links from MedlinePlus (National Library of Medicine)
Butchers and Meat Cutters. Haz-Map (National Library of Medicine)
Meat Packers (California State Compensation Insurance Fund)
Meat Packing Industry (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
Meat, Poultry and Fish Cutters and Trimmers. Haz-Map (National Library of Medicine)
Poultry Processing (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
Poultry Processing Industry eTool (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
Slaughterers and Meat Packers. Haz-Map (National Library of Medicine)
Chemicals and Meat Packing
Are these chemicals in MY community?
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Last Updated: June 10, 2014