LONGVIEW - Longview High School has opened a $2.2 million meat processing lab that is the only facility of its kind east of I-45.
The lab, which is aligned with similar facilities universities across the state, allows students to learn how to age and cut meat. It also will help prepare them for work as a butcher or food service manager.
One feature of the lab is a state-of-the-art smoker machine. Controlled by a digital keypad, it can chart the cook cycle and temperature of each product for federal compliance purposes.
Other features include a harvest floor where students can learn how to process cuts of meat from an animal.
Instructor John Denson is certified to teach hunter’s education at the lab and hopes to host clinics teaching hunters how to clean and process their own meat. The room is built with a rail and hooks so Denson can slide carcasses along and into the classroom for discussion and examination.
The lab has its own storage room with an additional freezer and refrigerator to store products. The lab will eventually sell meat to the community, according to Denson.
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