How Meat Processing and Packing Plants Benefit from Fabric Structures

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), total red meat, beef and pork production reached record-high levels in April of 2021. The USDA states, “Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 4.71 billion pounds in April, up 22 percent from the 3.86 billion pounds produced in April 2020.” 

With the meat industry reaching all-time high production rates, it’s vital that their facilities have the best equipment to maintain safe, efficient and hygienic practices. That’s where Alaska Structures® comes in.

Whether your meat facility works with beef, pork, poultry, or other livestock, Alaska Structures can provide fabric structures to assist with creating additional facilities for increasing production to meet demand.

Types of Facilities Used at Processing and Packing Plants

Meat processing and packing plants involve many distinct phases, each step with its own particular facility requirements. Alaska Structures can provide additional processing and packing facilities to help meet the needs of your plant’s product flow from the time livestock arrives to when meat is packed and ready to move to retail. 

Holding and Isolation Areas for Processing and Packing Plants

When livestock are brought in from markets or farms, holding and isolation areas are vital to keep healthy livestock away from others that are unfit or ill. 

Coolers for Processing and Packing Plants

A number of cooling areas are required throughout the meat processing and packing process, including pre-chill, holding, curing, and retail coolers to keep meat between 28 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Storage Facilities for Processing and Packing Plants

Sufficient space is essential for processing and packing plants. Equipment, tools, supplies, and the meat itself all need a temperature-regulated area. 

Employee Facilities 

On-site employee facilities for your processing and packing plant can include dining, lavatory, administrative offices, hygiene (shower and latrine systems), and locker  rooms..

Waste Management

Waste from livestock and production output needs to be safely managed throughout the entire meat processing and packing flow. 

Fabric Structure For Processing and Packing Plants

Alaska Structures can provide superior, alternative building solutions compared  to typical construction facilities used at meat processing and packing plants. 

On-Site Warehouses and Storage Facilities

We know ample storage space is essential for processing and packing plants, especially those dealing with livestock. Equipment, tools, and meat products need to be properly managed and stored to prevent possible damage and contamination. 

Fabric structures from Alaska Structures are delivered to your plant’s location and can be installed in a fraction of the time required for typical building solutions. With open-span storage facilities up to 150’ long, customizable lengths and any side-wall height, our fabric structures are the perfect solution for quickly creating additional on-site warehouses and storage buildings.

The GTX Series of gable truss buildings is well suited for large warehouses, storage buildings, as well as vehicle and equipment storage facilities. Our engineered fabric structures can be equipped with vehicle exhaust systems to allow for the safe loading and unloading of tractor trailers.  

For smaller applications, the GBX Series is available from 8' wide to 30' wide. 

With the help of Alaska Structures’ industry-leading design services, you can customize your on-site storage buildings to match the needs of your processing and packing plant. 

Cold and Dry Storage Facilities for Processing Plants

Food safety during processing and packing is of the utmost importance. The USDA explains, “Beef undergoes maturation and should be held for at least a week (preferably longer) at 0EC (32EF) before butchery into retail joints.” 

Alaska Structures provides fabric buildings that can be insulated and temperature-controlled to create cold and dry storage facilities for processing plants.

Workshop and Maintenance Facilities

During the holding, isolation, and butchering phases in the plant’s process, our HGX series for workshop and maintenance buildings are a great heavy-duty building solution.

It’s a more robust version of the GBX Series and can be used as a standalone structure or part of a larger building system. The HGX series is easily reconfigured and a relocatable building, allowing you to create separate facilities to transport ill or unfit livestock away from the healthier groups. 

Our fabric structures can be designed to create passageways into adjacent structures to allow separation in the meat processing flow. 

Waste Management Facilities

The MTX Series and GTX Series of fabric buildings from Alaska Structures are great solutions for quickly creating or expanding waste management facilities at processing and packing plants. 

The MTX Series comes as a prefabricated building solution. These fabric buildings are 40' wide and readily available in 40', 60', or 80' lengths. The GTX is a large fabric building available in widths up to 150' wide.

Employee Facilities

Providing plant employees with on-site facilities is a crucial component of a healthy work environment. Fabric buildings from Alaska Structures are a great solution for quickly creating the following:

[Related: Rethinking Dining Facilities — Alternative Solutions With Fabric Building Facilities]

Useful Products for Processing and Packing Plants

Air Filtration 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) noted in a report that no information is available for the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate emission control techniques available to the meat packing industry. 

This is important because in order to keep a work environment safe for employees, regular testing of air quality should take place to ensure healthy work conditions.

For locations with extreme hot or cold climates, high humidity, or in locations with excessive amounts of dust, fabric buildings from Alaska Structures can be equipped with air scrubbers and rugged, mil-spec HVAC systems to remove harmful particulates. 

Plug-and-Play Lighting and Electrical Systems

In addition to incorporating skylights into our fabric buildings, allowing natural light to shine through and creating a bright working environment during the day, Alaska Structures also produces a plug-and-play lighting and electrical system. 

Insulation Packages

Alaska Structures produces energy-saving insulation solutions that seamlessly integrate with any of our fabric building systems. 

Our SuperLayer™ insulation system is lightweight, durable, and impermeable to moisture. And our EnerLayer™ insulation system is made of fire-resistant materials, an important feature during the stunning or scalding portions of processing and packing plant facilities.

COVID-19 and Processing and Packing Plants 

Aside from ensuring that your operations run smoothly, our structures can also aid in preventing COVID-19 from spreading among your employees. 

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that COVID-19 is affecting meat plant workers at very high rates. The CDC explained that 115 meat processing facilities in 19 states reported COVID-19 contraction. Close to 5,000 cases and 19 deaths were noted. Lack of physical distancing and poor hygiene in crowded areas are the CDC’s main attributing factors for coronavirus spreading among meat plant workers. 

High speeds of production lines in processing plants can make it especially difficult for workers to take the necessary precautions of halting contraction. Alaska Structures can create fabric structures at custom sizes to ensure your employees have sufficient space while working. A larger distance between each worker is ultimately the most effective tool you can use to prevent the spread of illness and potential death.

Benefits of Alaska Structures for Meat Processing and Packing Plants

Some additional benefits of fabric buildings from Alaska Structures for processing and packing plants include:

  • Cost: Lowering the life-cycle cost of your new building system, in addition to low cube shipping, drastically reduced construction schedules, and long-lasting durability  all contribute to the lower life-cycle cost of our fabric building systems. 
  • Multi-purpose Fabric Buildings: Our multi-purpose fabric buildings are suitable for a range of applications across multiple projects and industries, including meat processing and packing.
  • Portable Buildings: Fabric buildings designed for fast installation  and takedown, combined with minimal tool and foundation requirements, minimal site preparation, are just a few reasons why our portable buildings are popular with meat processing and packing plants.  
  • Maintenance-Free Building: Once setup, fabric buildings from Alaska Structures are virtually maintenance free. We offer optional powder-coated frame systems to provide additional protection against corrosion. 

[Related: The Benefits of Fabric Buildings From Alaska Structures]

Fabric Structures For Meat Processing and Packing Plants

For more information on how Alaska Structures can provide fabric structures that meet your processing and packing plant needs, call +1-907-344-1565, email us at, or contact us online if you’d like a quote.

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