What is doubling-handling and why does your poultry processing plant need to avoid it?

Picture the scene – you’ve gone to the supermarket, finished your monthly shop, and then paid for it. You leave your shopping at the supermarket and drive home. The following day, you drive back to the same store, collect your shopping, and then return home again. You leave the shopping in the boot of the car, and go inside, before returning to the car to bring your shopping inside a couple of hours later.

Looking back, you’ve made one completely unnecessary trip to and from the supermarket, and another to and from your car. In doing so, you’ve wasted plenty of your own precious time, and your shopping is one day closer to its use-by date. 

So why am I telling you this? Because, quite frankly, a number of poultry processing organisations all over the world are using the same inefficient approach within their business. 

What is double handling?

Double-handling is an undesirable practice where the product is moved more than is necessary – either because it has been put in the wrong place, or because it has taken an inefficient route to its intended destination. 

A false economy

You probably haven’t looked at it like this before, but every time one of your staff takes your product and puts it anywhere other than its next destination along the poultry line, the product incurs extra cost to your business. Why? Because the longer a product spends away from the processing line, the longer it takes to be weighed, graded, marinated, packed, or indeed sold from the supermarket shelf. 

For every additional minute the product remains stagnant, your business is paying for it to be stored, cooled, or moved. And for that same period of time, that particular cut of meat is not as fresh as it could have been when it eventually reaches your customer, the retailer. 

Let’s say you have a chicken production chain which involves one of your staff removing a batch of chicken from a drum, loading it onto a trolley, and driving it into a cold store where it is kept for 24 hours before being removed and taken to the processing line. This may be a common scenario, but it is also double-handling at its most prevalent, and it is limiting the profit margins of countless chicken processing plants around the world. 

A more productive meat processing plant

Why store fresh meat if you don’t have to? Why take 24 hours to process a batch of chicken when you could do it in just two minutes? And why give your customers chicken which is four or five days old by the time it reaches their shelves? Every one of these difficulties can be avoided by changing the processing philosophy to one which is much more dynamic, and much more productive.

So “what’s the answer?” I hear you ask…
The answer is likely to be a streamlined process where people, poultry processing equipment, products, and space are used much more efficiently. 

To find out what this emerging philosophy looks like and how it can really benefit your business, download our new white paper, The Poultry Processing Blueprint.

Ulrich Carlin Nielsen
Director of Business Solutions

Blog Post Tags: Meat Poultry or Fish Fresh Produce Inspection and Quality Control Grading and Batching Line Solutions


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