DIFFERENT pieces of equipment are used in the fabrication of raw meat into further processed meat products. In the past, equipment was designed for a manual and/or batch-type operation; however, today many processing lines are designed to accommodate continuous operation. This speeds up manufacturing, allows more volume to go through a given plant, permits more centralized control and, as a result, saves on operation costs. The various basic steps involved in sausage processing are illustrated in Figure 8.1. Depending on the product being made, some or most of the steps will be employed. For whole muscle products (e.g., oven roasted turkey breast), grinding/chopping is not included, and non-meat ingredients (e.g., salt, water, spices) are commonly added by injection, as will be described later in the chapter. It should be mentioned that all processes performed prior to cooking should be carried out at a refrigerated temperature (e.g., in the United States the FSIS requires 10°C) in order to minimize microbial growth (see Chapter 11). Good sanitation practices and an adequate HACCP program can further assist in the production of safe products (see Chapter 12; also includes detailed flow diagrams of equipment and specific steps involved in the production of cooked turkey ham, and battered and breaded chicken; Figures 12.2 and 12.3, respectively). In this section, the basic types of equipment used in meat processing plants and their operational principles will be described. It should be remembered that many variations exist in terms of equipment design, size and configuration, but most operate under fairly similar basic principles.