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What Are the Different Food Processing Jobs?

Food processing jobs involve meat packing and slaughtering.
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  • Written By: Nick Doniger
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 25 March 2014
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Many food processing jobs are required for taking raw materials and converting them into finished products to be sold to restaurants, grocery stores, and butcher shops. These occupations generally require little training or education, and are performed on a large scale in a production line. Most of these jobs are meat-related, such as slaughtering, poultry trimming, and fish cleaning. Other jobs include equipment operation, for processing various types of food, and bakery work.

Bakers in large commercial bakeries make breads, pastries, cookies, cakes, and other baked goods on a large scale. Unlike small bakeries and specialty grocery stores, where goods may vary and are baked on site, these factory-like locations produce large batches of standardized goods. Such goods are then sold to restaurants, grocery stores, wholesalers, coffee shops, and the like.

Among the most prominent food processing jobs are those involving meat packing and slaughtering. Animal carcasses are cut into manageable segments of meat to be sold to restaurants, wholesalers, butchers, and grocery stores. This occupation usually involves cutting cattle, hogs, and sheep into red meat portions such as loins, ribs, steaks, rounds, and chucks. These portions are sometimes also prepared for making sausage, hamburger, and cured sandwich-style meats. Workers in the meat packing and slaughtering field often work in an assembly line-style formation, using saws, cleavers, and other potentially dangerous equipment.

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Poultry trimming and cutting is another of the available food processing jobs. It involves slaughtering, trimming, and de-boning chickens, turkeys, ducks, and other birds. Much of this work is still done by hand, though the packing aspect in this line of work is largely machine operated. Workers in the poultry trimming field also perform work in an assembly line-style formation.

Fish cleaners remove the heads, scales, bones, and other inedible fish parts into portions to be sold to grocery stores, wholesalers, and restaurants. They may also cut and trim fish into fillets and steaks. Workers in this occupation are often seen directly in the grocery stores, as fish is cut to order for customers.

Those who work food processing jobs involving meat cutting and preparation often sell meat to butchers and grocery stores, who perform further processing operations. Meat portions are cut to custom pieces in stores for the consumers to take home. Butchers are responsible not only for cutting meat, but for weighing and wrapping meat as well. They also grind meat for hamburgers and sausages.

Food batchmakers operate equipment that performs or aids in a variety of food processing jobs, to produce all types of goods. Such equipment is responsible for mixing, grinding, and blending various food products. Cooking equipment, such as deep fryers, steam-cooking vats, baking and roasting equipment, and pressure cookers are also operated by food batchmakers. The resulting products from such occupations are prepared for canning and packaging.

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