After the feedlot tour I visited the abattoir also operated by Cargill. The abattoir is ideally located, being about a 15 minute drive from the feedlot. This means the cattle do not need to travel a long way to be processed, which in turn is better for not only the cattle, but also the consumer.
I was given a brief tour of the abattoir, which started just as the carcases were headed for the chillers. Before the carcases enter the chillers, they go past a machine which takes a photo of the ribeye area (EMA) to assess the quality and yield grade of the carcase. The carcases are then sorted according to these quality and yield grades and grouped together and are placed in different chillers. Before they go to the chillers, the carcases pass through a light acid wash, to control any bacteria that may be present. One of the chillers I went into has the capacity to fit 5000 bodies into it, or 10,000 sides of beef (and this is considered one of the smaller processing plants!). The carcases are then held in these chillers for 3 to 4 days before heading to the fab floor to be cut up. Once a carcass hits the fab floor, it takes around 15mins to completely cut the carcase up and place it into boxes ready for shipping. Cargill try to be as sustainable as possible at all their feedlots and processing plants and therefore try and capture all water and gas for reuse within the facility where possible.
Again due to Cargill regulations, no photos were allowed to be taken inside the abattoir either.