Butcher
Overview
 
A butcher is a person who may slaughter animals, dress their flesh, sell their meat or any combination of these three tasks. They may prepare standard cuts of meat, poultry, fish and shellfish for sale in retail or wholesale food establishments. A butcher may be employed by supermarkets, grocery stores, butcher shops and fish markets or may be self-employed
Self-employment
Self-employment is working for one's self.Self-employed people can also be referred to as a person who works for himself/herself instead of an employer, but drawing income from a trade or business that they operate personally....

.

An ancient trade, whose duties may date back to the domestication
Domestication
Domestication or taming is the process whereby a population of animals or plants, through a process of selection, becomes accustomed to human provision and control. In the Convention on Biological Diversity a domesticated species is defined as a 'species in which the evolutionary process has been...

 of livestock
Livestock
Livestock refers to one or more domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, fiber and labor. The term "livestock" as used in this article does not include poultry or farmed fish; however the inclusion of these, especially poultry, within the meaning...

, butchers formed guilds in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 as far back as 1272.
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
A butcher is a person who may slaughter animals, dress their flesh, sell their meat or any combination of these three tasks. They may prepare standard cuts of meat, poultry, fish and shellfish for sale in retail or wholesale food establishments. A butcher may be employed by supermarkets, grocery stores, butcher shops and fish markets or may be self-employed
Self-employment
Self-employment is working for one's self.Self-employed people can also be referred to as a person who works for himself/herself instead of an employer, but drawing income from a trade or business that they operate personally....

.

An ancient trade, whose duties may date back to the domestication
Domestication
Domestication or taming is the process whereby a population of animals or plants, through a process of selection, becomes accustomed to human provision and control. In the Convention on Biological Diversity a domesticated species is defined as a 'species in which the evolutionary process has been...

 of livestock
Livestock
Livestock refers to one or more domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, fiber and labor. The term "livestock" as used in this article does not include poultry or farmed fish; however the inclusion of these, especially poultry, within the meaning...

, butchers formed guilds in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 as far back as 1272. Today, many jurisdictions offer trade certifications
Professional certification
Professional certification, trade certification, or professional designation, often called simply certification or qualification, is a designation earned by a person to assure qualification to perform a job or task...

 for butchers. Some areas expect a three-year apprenticeship
Apprenticeship
Apprenticeship is a system of training a new generation of practitioners of a skill. Apprentices or protégés build their careers from apprenticeships...

 followed by the option of becoming a master butcher.

Duties

Butchery is a traditional work. In the industrialized world, slaughterhouses use butchers (slaughtermen, in British English) to slaughter the animals, performing one or a few of the steps repeatedly as specialists on a semiautomated disassembly line. The steps include stunning (rendering the animal incapacitated), exsanguination
Exsanguination
Exsanguination is the fatal process of hypovolemia , to a degree sufficient enough to cause death. One does not have to lose literally all of one's blood to cause death...

 (severing the carotid or brachial arteries
Brachial artery
The brachial artery is the major blood vessel of the arm.It is the continuation of the axillary artery beyond the lower margin of teres major muscle. It continues down the ventral surface of the arm until it reaches the cubital fossa at the elbow. It then divides into the radial and ulnar arteries...

 to facilitate blood removal), skinning (removing the hide or pelt) or scalding and dehairing (pork), evisceration (removing the viscera) and splitting (dividing the carcass in half longitudinally
Sagittal plane
Sagittal plane is a vertical plane which passes from front to rear dividing the body into right and left sections.-Variations:Examples include:...

).

After the carcasses are chilled
Refrigeration
Refrigeration is a process in which work is done to move heat from one location to another. This work is traditionally done by mechanical work, but can also be done by magnetism, laser or other means...

 (unless "hot-boned"), primary butchery consists of selecting carcasses, sides, or quarters from which primal cuts can be produced with the minimum of wastage, separate the primal cuts from the carcasses using the appropriate tools and equipment following company procedures, trim primal cuts and prepare for secondary butchery or sale, and store cut meats. Secondary butchery involves boning and trimming primal cuts in preparation for sale. Historically, primary and secondary butchery were performed in the same establishment, but the advent of methods of preservation and low cost transportation has largely separated them.

In the rest of the world, it is common for butchers to perform many or all of the butcher's duties. Where refrigeration is less common, these skills are required to sell the meat of slaughtered animals.

Butcher shop

Some butchers sell their goods in specialized stores, commonly termed a butcher shop. Butchers at a butcher shop may perform primary butchery, but will typically perform secondary butchery to prepare fresh cuts of meat for sale. These shops may also sell related products, such as food preparation supplies, baked goods and grocery items. Butcher shops can have a wider variety of animal types, meat cuts and quality of cuts. Additionally, butcher shops may focus on a particular culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

, or nationality
Nationality
Nationality is membership of a nation or sovereign state, usually determined by their citizenship, but sometimes by ethnicity or place of residence, or based on their sense of national identity....

, of meat production. Some butcher shops, termed "meat delis", may also include a delicatessen
Delicatessen
Delicatessen is a term meaning "delicacies" or "fine foods". The word entered English via German,with the old German spelling , plural of Delikatesse "delicacy", ultimately from Latin delicatus....

.

In the United States, butcher's shops are becoming less common in cities because of the increasing popularity of supermarket
Supermarket
A supermarket, a form of grocery store, is a self-service store offering a wide variety of food and household merchandise, organized into departments...

s. Supermarkets employ butchers for secondary butchery, but in the United States even that role is diminished with the advent of "case-ready" meat, where the product is packaged for retail sale at the packinghouse or specialized central processing plants.

The creation of in vitro meat
In vitro meat
In vitro meat, also known as cultured meat, is an animal flesh product that has never been part of a complete, living animal.This form of meat has been described, sometimes derisively, as "laboratory-grown" meat. In vitro meat should not be confused with imitation meat, which is a vegetarian food...

 is speculated to challenge the butcher profession in the distant future.

Primal cut

See also, Cut of beef
See also, Cut of pork
See also, Cut of lamb


A primal cut is a piece of meat initially separated from the carcass during butchering. Different countries and cultures make these cuts in different ways, and primal cuts also differ between type of carcass. The British, American and French primal cuts all differ in some respects. A notable example is fatback
Fatback
Fatback is a cut of meat from a domestic pig. It consists of the layer of adipose tissue under the skin of the back, with or without the skin...

, which in Europe is an important primal cut of pork, but in North America is regarded as trimmings to be used in sausage or rendered into lard. The primal cuts may be sold complete or cut further.

Metaphorical use

See also Butcher (disambiguation)
Butcher (disambiguation)
A butcher is a person who may slaughter animals, dress their flesh and sell their meat.Butcher or The butcher may also refer to:In People:* Butcher , is a common surname* The butcher of Baghdad, Saddam Hussein...


In various periods and cultures, the term "butcher" was applied to people who acted cruelly to other human beings or slaughtered them. For example, Pompey
Pompey
Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, also known as Pompey or Pompey the Great , was a military and political leader of the late Roman Republic...

, a prominent Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 general and politician of the first century BC, got the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 nickname adulescentulus carnifex, translated as "The Teenage Butcher" or "The Butcher Boy", due to brutal treatment of political opponents in the early part of his career.

See also

  • Beef ring
    Beef ring
    Beef rings are cooperative groups of anywhere from six to twenty-four farms, with each member of the cooperative being required to supply one animal over the course of the summer to the cooperative for slaughter...

  • Charcuterie
    Charcuterie
    Charcuterie is the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork. Charcuterie is part of the garde manger chef's repertoire...

  • Meat cutter
    Meat Cutter
    A meat cutter prepares primal cuts into a variety of smaller cuts intended for sale in a retail environment. The duties of a meat cutter are related to that of a butcher.-Overview:...

  • Slaughterhouse
    Slaughterhouse
    A slaughterhouse or abattoir is a facility where animals are killed for consumption as food products.Approximately 45-50% of the animal can be turned into edible products...

  • Sausage making
    Sausage making
    Sausage making originally developed as a means to preserve and transport meat. Primitive societies learned that dried berries and spices could be added to dried meat. By 600-500 BC there is mention of sausages from China, Rome and Greece. Sausages come in two main types: fresh and cured. Cured...


Further reading

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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