What is a packing plant?

Sliced ​​frozen meat.

A slaughterhouse is a facility where animals are processed and distributed to buyers around the world. Packing plants in North America have been around since the early 1900s, when the refrigerated railcar made it possible to ship meat to distant locations. Throughout the rest of the world, various forms of packaging units can be found.

A refrigerator.

In most cases, animals are not slaughtered inside packing plants. Slaughterhouses are separate facilities that exist solely for the slaughter of livestock. After the animal is slaughtered, it is sent to a meat packing plant. Working conditions inside these factories can often be treacherous, although these conditions have improved since the 1900s. Author Upton Sinclair wrote a book in 1906 entitled The Jungle, which detailed conditions at the packing plant in Chicago.

Special halal packaging factories prepare food according to Islamic law.

As soon as Sinclair’s book was read, the public began to insist on better working conditions for the packaging plant’s employees. In the 1930s, in the United States, workers were able to unite to form the United Packinghouse Workers of America. This union took control of working conditions, wages and other important details.

When the 1960s arrived, the United Packinghouse Workers of America saw its membership drop sharply. As a result, the original slaughterhouse union was transformed into the Amalgamated Meat Cutters union. In 1975, the Amalgamated Meat Cutters union joined forces with the Retail Clerks International Union to form the United Food and Commercial Workers union. This union still exists in the United States and Canada protecting over 1.3 million workers across North America from unfair working conditions.

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There are several types of meatpacking plants, including kosher and halal plants. According to Jewish law, animals killed inside a kosher packing plant must be slaughtered with a knife slit across the throat. Similarly, Islamic law states that animals must be slaughtered by cutting the throat area.

Both halal packaging units and kosher packaging units are similar, but the two cannot be interchanged according to religious laws. Both halal and kosher facilities must be separate from any other packaging unit. While most people around the world buy meat that comes from a large industrial packing plant, more and more people are starting to look for farm dead meat products. The main difference between an animal killed on the farm and meat from a packing plant is that animals killed on the farm are slaughtered on the farm where they were raised. This type of meat is never sent to a factory for processing.

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