The stages of getting your meat from farm to table

The stages of getting your meat from farm to table

There are different stages that involve getting the meat from the farm to your plate and here's a quick rundown of the different stages that make it all possible.

1. RAISING THE ANIMAL
Depending on the type of animal and the farm, animals are raised differently. Livestock can be bred either using the extensive farming system where livestock animals are allowed to roam about on grass pastures or they be bred using the semi-extensive and intensive farming system.

At this period, livestock animals are identified and categorized, its genetics history captured, types and quantity of feeds, veterinary medicines taking by the animal and water consumed are also recorded.

2. STUNNING AND SLAUGHTER
Livestock is typically stunned before they’re killed to prevent them from feeling the pain, either with carbon dioxide, an electric current, or a captive bolt pistol. Ideally, the animal remains calm throughout the process.

3. BUTCHERING
Before you can start butchering, you need to remove the pelt from the livestock, Once the animal’s fur or skin has been removed, it’s time to dress the carcass, removing the innards. The individuals working on it must be careful when removing the innards to avoid rupturing and getting any contaminants on the carcass for food safety

4. GRADING
Meat is given a grade depending on the animal’s size, muscle mass, and fat deposits. Ideally, regulatory agencies certify certain beef cuts as “prime,” “select” or “choice,” based on the marbling and tenderness.

5. CUTTING
On the factory floor, large racks of meat have to be cut up into the smaller cuts we’re accustomed to seeing at the grocery store. Large animals like cows are usually cut into three large pieces first before the meat is cut into specific pieces like ribs, bacon, or brisket.

6. PACKAGING AND DISTRIBUTING
After being cut, the meat is shared and distributed among the meat sellers, in some cases, the meat is put in a plastic bag and sealed which is then sent out to meat stores and restaurants, at which it is made available for the consumer to eat.

In conclusion, the above is the ideal situation but not easily attainable in Nigeria due to lack of a functional animal identification system and strong veterinary oversight until now as a result of the many initiatives and interventions of Livestock247.com.