A Day in the Slaughterhouse (Warning: Disturbing Images Ahead)October 28, 2019
In an interview with PBS, CEO of Kansas City’s National Farms, Bill Haw, had this to say when asked about what goes on in a slaughterhouse, “Well, the slaughterhouse is not a pretty thing. I mean, it’s a necessary process. It’s a highly efficient process. But it’s not now, nor never will be, a very pretty thing.”
Whatever one’s opinions are on meat and how it’s made, the reality is that it is still consumed, and it’s business as usual.
At the Parañaque Meat Processing and Slaughterhouse Corporation building, their Quality Assurance Officer, Celine Fuentes, tells us that they process up to 400 pigs every night, with as many as 1,200 pigs in the days leading up to Christmas and New Year’s. It is a systematized process, it not just holding a pig down and cutting it up on the spot. As an accredited slaughterhouse by the National Meat Inspection Service, they strictly abide by regulations on hygiene and proper slaughter. Their fleet of fifteen butchers are all experienced and experts in their fields, most having been former butchers for Monterey. Fuentes says more than hiring those with the knife skills and mechanical know-how, they look for butchers “na hindi init ulo” or are not bad-tempered. “After all, we work with knives. We can’t have that.” She says in Tagalog.
Operations there starts on the clock at seven in the evening up until three in the morning. We were there for the first few hours of their work, where we saw for ourselves what and how they made the meat.
The pigs are led one by one through a small entrance in a contained pen where they are stunned by electrocution. When they fall to their side, they are cleaned by being placed in a small pool of scalding hot water.
The butchers clean out any layer of dirt left on their skin, the heads are chopped, and they are strung up to be butchered.
The stomachs are cut open, the offal is taken out to be cleaned and later resold. The carcasses are split, and then put into a freezer for ten hours. The following morning, they are cut into parts, where they’re packed and sold to their clients.