Butchery has been around since prehistoric times. And the reason it is relevant today is that, much like the art of weaponry, butchery has seen better days. However, there remains one of the most important services that the food industry provides. In fact, butchery continues to be the primary occupation for millions of workers across the world. A butcher is employed by retail grocers, supermarkets, fish markets and butcher shops or can also be self-employed. If you are thinking of starting a career in butchery, you should be ready for the challenges that lie ahead.
Butchery in the past
Butchery is an ancient profession whose origins can be traced back to the domestication of animals; its practitioners initially formed guilds in England up until 12 72. The butcher’s guilds were composed of specialists in different areas of expertise such as knife skills, skinning, poultry rearing and much more. Although these guilds had their own hierarchy, which went from the bottom to the highest-ranked member, butchery’s chief administrative organs are known as “butchers’ clubs”.
A butcher’s shop is an establishment that provides services for rendering carcass and preparing the meat for consumption. Butchers are also known to create short cuts in the preparation of meat to enable the butcher to use his quota of meat within a specific time frame. Butchers must also comply with health and sanitation requirements in order to operate.
Rendering carcass for food
Today, butchers are primarily engaged in the primary butchery task of rendering carcass to be used as food. In the primary butchery process, the butchers render the animal – removing the head, limbs, breast, and feet apart from the bones. The remainder will go to digestion and then be made into fresh food.
Aside from the primary butchery, secondary butchery is also prevalent in modern society. Secondary butchery is the type of butchery practiced in small rural kitchens. Primitively, butchers prepare and cook the meat themselves and serve it at home to family and friends. The primary objective of this type of butchery is to cook the animal alive to avoid spoiling. Because of this reason, most of the primal cut of meat is only prepared on the day of death.
However, in certain countries, primary butchery and secondary butchery are practiced on a daily basis.
Primitively, the animals are killed by being put to death through the air or gas and then being cooked over open fires. Because of the primitive methods, however, it is unknown how the meat is prepared. Modern primary butchers have integrated modern means of killing animals and use modern equipment to assure a humane and quick death.
Modern butchery has come a long way. Many animals that are used for meat are euthanized or destroyed after butchery. Modern butchers also use other methods to finish the meat before hanging it on a rack. Hanging is by far the most humane way to kill an animal used for meat.