The meat industry is one of the largest producers of organic waste in the food processing sector

and forms the interface between livestock production and a hygienically safe product for use in

both human and animal food preparation. This chapter looks at this interface, drawing its

boundaries at the point of delivery of livestock to the slaughterhouse and the point at which

packaged meat is shipped to its point of use. The chapter deals with “meat” in accordance with

the understanding of the term by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)

[1] as all animal products from cattle, calves, hogs, sheep and lambs, and from any meat that is

not listed under the definition of poultry. USEPA uses the term “meat” as synonymous with the

term “red meat.” The definition also includes consumer products (e.g., cooked, seasoned, or

smoked products, such as luncheon meat or hams). These specialty products, however, are

outside the scope of the current text. The size of the meat industry worldwide, as defined above,

can thus be judged by meat production (Table 3.1), which globally is around 140 million tons

(143 million tonnes) for major species, with about one-third of production shared between the

United States and the European Union. The single largest meat producer is China, which

accounts for 36% of world production.