Chef Chris Cosentino’s educational and inspirational tool for those who are interested in learning about and cooking with offal.
Meats Lab

USDA Hog Slaughter

This past january i went to Iowa for a meat seminar at Iowa State University Meat Labratories, and on the last day they were harvesting 4 hogs. As you can see in the photos this is done like precision clockwork, each person knows their job and it is done quickly and respectfully. All the while it is done under the close eye of a USDA inspector.

The process starts by the hog walking into the stun pen on its own.

live hog
Once the hog is in the pen, an electrode with 2 pads is placed behind there ears and there is a charge to stun the animal.

stun hog
The hog is then hung upside down over the blood
bucket and one quick incision is made to bleed the hog.

bleed hog
The hog is left whole and placed into the scalder to remove the fur. Notice the organs are still inside the carcass.

scald hog

The hog is then scraped with skinning knives to remove any fur that didn’t come off in the scalder.

scarp hog

The hog is then hoisted up and moved 2 feet over to have the hair from the feet and head removed by a torch. Next the head is removed.

scorch hog

Then the hog is eviserated by spliting the belly from the groin to the mid chest, being sure not to puncture any of the organs.

eviserating hog

Then the organs are placed on a table for the USDA inspector to view and approve for consumption.

hog innards

Finally the carcass is split in half by the huge spliter and then sent to another room to dry and be chilled.

spliting hog carcase

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