Security Cameras Improve Sanitation at Beef Processing Facilities

Two years ago the Beef Division of JBS USA Holdings, Inc. – the world’s largest beef manufacturer and global exporter of processed meat -- finished a five-month installation of an Arrowsight remote video auditing (RVA) program at eight of its beef plants in the U.S. according to Bryan Lefebvre who wrote about the recent industrial case study.

During the first year of the installation JBS noted the occurrence of pathogens, particularly a hazardous strain of E.coli, in the beef processing plants drop by 50 percent. The RVA security camera is able to assist JBS employees in handling cattle securely and process carcasses after they enter the plant from the stockyard. According to Dr. John Ruby, vice president of tech services for JBS, pathogen contamination comes in on the cow’s hide. The hide must be perfectly detached by employees. While a security camera audits the process in “real time,” employees can be shown if their technique needs improvement. Employees are shown images that help their performance at the skinning bench.

Ruby states that the IP-based security cameras are not used for compliance issues or to penalize workers, but rather develop a better food safety system in order to reduce pathogens.
The installations at the JBS facilities include security cameras that exposed to extreme manufacturing surroundings. Low temperature cameras are to be used in freezers. The correct type camera always needs to be chosen to meet the application to ensure long electronic life. 

What is captured by the video auditing program is the point at which the cattle first enter the plant and are harvested, the hide is removed and the carcass is moved to a containment point – also known as “hot box” – for chilling. During the busiest time at the JBS beef plants, more than 5000 head of cattle can move through the process per day. Processing of the carcasses is done by two shifts of workers and a third shift sanitizes and performs maintenance in the work areas, which includes the “kill floor.” The sanitation process involves washing down surfaces and tools with USDA-approved cleaners, use of high-pressure water hoses and water temperature at 180 degrees F.

The RVA program was the first time JBS made the effort of installing security cameras in the working environment. Due to dust and heat generated by hundreds of cattle, cleaning agents from the sanitation process, and steam and high-pressure water it was challenging for the proper placement and selection of the camera equipment, camera housings and wiring methods. 

Prior to installing the RVA program, JBS inspected its kill floors with human eyes as a shift manager and quality assurance employee would stand on the sidelines with a clipboard observing workers processing the incoming cattle.
With the RVA program, the major concern from the JBS team was to ensure that each security camera captured an accurate view of the work area. The JBS plant managers and engineers, as well as the integrator team from NetPlanner Systems made decisions about how the cabling infrastructure would be installed.

At Official Security Systems, we can install security cameras to assist in assuring quality at your processing facilities in NJ. Call us at 800-651-0138 to discuss your camera needs.