Saturday, 7 December 2013

Something a little different - Meatcart factory tour

I'm a big fan of meat, in fact, apart from a few exceptions, I eat meat with just about every meal.  One of the problems with eating out at restaurants all the time and buying my meat products from James Street, is that I don't really see where it all comes from.  It's just the final product that I end up seeing, which is usually a lovely piece of wagyu placed in the centre of a plate.

When the opportunity to get along and do a tour of one of Brisbane's biggest meat production facilities, I jumped.  I didn't hurt that there was going to be a massive BBQ at the end of the tour with a heap of different meats and sausages cooked up for everyone to sample, along with some matching beers for those so inclined.

I really wasn't sure what to expect when I arrived, but the Meatcart production facility looked just like any other semi industrial building over at Eagle Farm.  In fact, the only way I could tell it apart from the other buildings in the street was a huge portable meat van and an equally large BBQ.  Knowing I was in the right place I wandered past the entry gate to check it all out.  As usual, I was pretty early and was one of the first of the guests to arrive.  Undeterred, this gave me an opportunity to have a bit of a sticky beak around the facility and get an early start on some of drinks on offer (for me it was a glass of sparkling water)

As other guests started to arrive, the team at Meatcart started to get the big grill going and the smell of BBQ started to permeate through the area and with such a wonderful smell, my saliva ducts went into over drive. We were being teased with some cooked sausages and other delicious looking meat variants when we were rounded up to start the tour of the meat production facility.  With a backward glance at the serving area, I reluctantly joined the thirty or so other guests to get down to business.

Given Meatcart is a food production facility, we were given the lowdown on what we needed to do to leading up to entering the production area.  This included washing up, putting little booties over our shoes, hair nets (yeah, funny, I have no hair!) and for some of the blokes, beard nets (yep, I have a beard).  So suitably scrubbed and attired, we were let loose.

The first thing I noticed when we entered the food production area was that there was no food being produced on the day of our visit.  Bummer, I was really hoping to see the team in action and get a feel for how one of my favourite food substances gets to my dinner plate.  The next thing I noticed was how cold it was.  The team need to keep the facility running at around minus two degrees, so its a pretty good spot in the middle of summer!

Our guide for the day was a funny bloke who clearly loved working at the facility.  It was pretty cool (no pun intended) wandering around the Meatcart facility and getting a feel for where and how our meat products get processed and end up on the dining table.  Wandering around, I got the feeling that some of the group were happy that there was no blood and guts of sheep and cows and other animals we love to eat.  I also got the feeling that others felt like we were missing out on something, just as I was. 

Tour ended, it was time to get back out and check out some of the wares.  It was a fun afternoon and something I'm really glad I checked out.

Oh, for the record, the BBQ meat was superb.

The Meatcart BBQ is all fired up.  Bring on the meat
Who doesn't like kebabs?
Lots of different flavour sausages.  Apparently Meatcart has done a sausage with vegetables in it the help kids get more vegies in their diet!
Pork cooked to perfection
The chicken was rubbed in spices and was very succulent
The lamb medallions were rubbed with beetroot! 
A little meat processing humour
This is where it all happens.  The new facility is state of the art and twice as big as the old facility
They produce about 57 tonnes of meat a week.  We eat a lot of meat in Queensland!
Much of the facility is automated, but its still up to humans to man the stations and get the meat right for consumption

1 comment:

  1. Great Article. The big Funny Guy was me, GAZZA, and yes I do love working here.


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