SRC Hosts Four-Day Meat Processing Workshop


A four-day workshop to provide training in meat processing theory, will get underway tomorrow (Sept. 25) at the Old Hope Road headquarters of the Scientific Research Council (SRC).
Process Development Officer at the SRC, Debbi-Ann Edwards-Kennedy, told JIS News that the workshop, which will provide participants with an opportunity to take part in practical work, will focus on areas such as the selection and slaughtering of meat and the proper curing method, to ensure that the meat has a longer shelf life.
“We have three main objectives; for them (participants) to be able to identify different processing and techniques that you utilize in doing meat filling. In the past, persons would have just used salt to cure their meat, but technologies have changed over the years, and so in doing that, we are actually imparting the new technologies that exist,” she pointed out.
“We also aim to train the participants about the principles and practices of meat processing, to facilitate the production of consistently high quality meat products, and to improve the knowledge and technical competence in the whole process,” she added.
Outlining the activities over the four-days, Mrs. Edwards-Kennedy said that following tomorrow’s opening ceremony, “we’ll have inspection and testing of meat, which will be done by a representative from the Health Ministry, then we will be going to the fundamentals of meat curing and smoking, where we will tell the participants the different ingredients that are used in the process.”
She noted that “in the afternoon, we will start our first practical session, where we will show them (participants) how to fabricate the (meat) carcasses in the different prime cuts, prepare the brine and pump it into the chicken and the pork, and that will end the day.” She indicated that different types of meat will be used during the workshop, so that persons can be competent in many areas when they have completed the training.
On day two of the workshop, presentations will be made on topics such as good manufacturing practices, good hygiene, sanitation and sausage processing theory, the participants will also be involved in a practical on sausage processing.
Activities for day three include a factory visit and instruction on packaging and labeling of products. “Hopefully, we should have someone from the Jamaica Business Development Centre (JBDC) coming to tell them how you can actually do meat processing as a business, what you need to look at , how you do your business plan, how you do the pricing of your products and so on,” Mrs. Edwards-Kennedy continued.
The final day of the workshop will focus on food safety, she indicated. “We will do basic food microbiology, because you need to know what microbes will affect your products, so you know what to safeguard against. After that, we will give them a little test to see if they have actually grasped the information imparted to them during the course of the four days, and then we will have a wrap up for the day,” she outlined.
According to the Process Development Officer, the course participants will not only benefit from the knowledge of experts in the field, but also certification from the National Council on Technical Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET), which is recognized throughout the Commonwealth.
She told JIS News that the workshop is open to the general public and to persons working at entities such as Best Dressed Chicken, Grace Meats and Caribbean Broilers. Participants, she said, will leave the workshop with a better understanding of meat processing and how to prepare products such as ham, “so if you want to start a business to make ham for Christmas, you know what you need to do.” To register, persons may contact Mrs. Edwards-Kennedy at the Scientific Research Council at 977-9316 or through email at debbianne@srcjamaica.org.

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