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Meat Cutting

Meat cutters work at all levels of food production involving animals, from slaughterhouse to grocery store, ensuring the quality and safety of the meat that humans eat. Read on to discover how to turn your enthusiasm for food into a career as a butcher, slaughterer or meat cutter.

Inside Meat Cutting

Meat cutters work to transform animals into food at every step of the process, from live animal to packaged meat or even ready-to-eat meals. Meat cutters are employed in various occupational environments; some work in large meat-processing plants, slaughtering animals and breaking their dressed bodies down into wholesale parts. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these workers are increasingly expected to also produce some ready-to-cook or prepared foods in addition to wholesale meats. (www.bls.gov). Other meat cutters work in food processing facilities cutting meat for use in products such as lunch meat or sausage. Still others work in local grocery and specialty stores, where they cut and package meat into smaller portions to be sold to consumers.

Another career path for those with an interest in meat cutting is to become a food inspector. Food inspectors with the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) branch of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are charged with inspecting meat processing plants in order to ascertain the quality and safety of meat. They check to ensure that proper regulations and sanitation rules are followed in the production areas and that the final product meets all guidelines for contaminants.

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