Meat Examiner

Meat examiners inspect meat and carcasses to guarantee the safety of the meat which is destined for human and animal consumption. They work in abattoirs under the supervision of a meat inspector or veterinarian.

Meat examiners assist meat inspectors by performing the actual inspection procedures as prescribed by law and by monitoring the slaughtering process. They draw the attention of the inspector to any irregularities and need to ensure that the highest level of hygiene is maintained in the abattoir at all times.

Meat examiners inspect the carcasses and internal organs of the animal for disease and make sure that the meat is safe and that the processing and production meets the hygiene laws.  The hygiene conditions of abbatoirs, cutting plants, factories and cold stores are continuously checked.  All unfit meat must be recorded and properly destroyed.

They need to be responsible, precise and observant.  Their work is very important, contributing to the health of people, and they also need to ensure that the slaughtering processes are humane.

Personal Requirements

  • responsible
  • precise and observant
  • able to stand the sight of freshly slaughtered carcasses
  • conscious of hygiene in the handling of meat

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

Grade 10 Certificate

What to Study

Prospective meat examiners receive in-service training (80 days) at any A-grade abattoir under the supervision of a health inspector and a veterinarian. After this, examinations can be written for the National Certificate for Meat Examiners.


  • abattoirs
  • municipalities and government departments

Further Information

The Director: Meat Hygiene
Department of Agriculture
Private Bag X138
Pretoria, 0001

The Personnel Officer
Meat Board
P O Box 40051
Arcadia, 0007

Getting Started

  • gain useful experience, which may include: catering; chef work; food hygiene courses: work in kitchens; retail work; farm work; work at a freezing works; work as a meat packer or a clean-up person in a butchery
  • make an appointment to talk to a meat examiner or meat inspector and ask permission to observe the work in an abattoir
  • try to obtain part-time or vacation employment at an abattoir, butchery or the butchery section of a retail or wholesale food outlet

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

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