Ed Maltby, the General Manger of Adams Farm Retail and Wholesale Meats in Athol, Massachusetts, gave us a wonderful tour today of the slaughterhouse. Adams Farm is one of the only two USDA-inspected slaughterhouses in Massachusetts. The other is in Groton.
It was quite an experience to see the carcasses hanging in the coolers, watch the cutters and packers, and to see the animals in the holding pens, awaiting slaughter. Since they were finished with their work for the day on the kill floor, we weren’t able to observe that part of the process; however, Mr. Maltby showed us all of the equipment and explained how the workers are trained in humane slaughter techniques.
Also, after the animals arrive and before they are slaughtered, they are placed in a holding pen where they get plenty of water. They are also given feed if they are going to be there overnight. The pen area is well-lit, well-ventilated, and quite spacious.
The large state-of-the-art cutting and packing room was quite impressive to see. The workers were very focused on their tasks and everything, including the floor, was meticulously clean.
Adams Farm also has a wonderful retail storefront where you can buy meats from local farms. They even have a deli counter where you can get cold cuts, cheeses, and breads. It got quite busy there around lunch time!