A look at how Cargill processes beef in Colorado

  • Updated: September 15, 2010 - 5:46 AM

1 After grazing on pasture until they weigh 700 to 800 pounds, cattle are sent to a feedlot. On average, they spend six months there, adding 500 pounds on corn-based feed.

2 They're trucked to the Fort Morgan slaughterhouse, where they're rendered instantly brain dead by a device that drives a bolt into their foreheads.

3 The disassembly line begins with the removal of the hide and hooves.

4 Cattle are eviscerated and split into two sides of beef, which are put in a cooler for two days. It takes 45 minutes from stunning to cooling.

5 Each side of beef is then "fabricated" -- cut down to 10- to 20-pound pieces that will later become steaks and roasts and the like.

6 "Trim" -- scraps of beef and fat from the fabrication process -- is ground into hamburger.

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