With more than 500,000 employees nationwide,
the U.S. meat industry includes 835 federallyinspected livestock slaughter plants and 370 poultry
slaughter plants. On an annual basis, meat packers
transform 33.6 million head of cattle, 587,000
calves, 129.9 million hogs, and 2.23 million sheep
and lambs into more than 55 billion pounds of
beef, pork, lamb and veal. And, poultry processors
transform 9.34 billion chickens and 227.6 million
turkeys into more than 50 billion pounds of chicken
and turkey products.
With total annual sales of $152.5 billion, the meat
packing and processing industry in the U.S. feeds
a country that consumes more beef than any other
country in the world, or roughly 58 pounds per
person on an annual basis. U.S. consumption of
poultry is roughly 112.5 pounds per capita, while
pork consumption is about 50 pounds per capita.
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