CHILL OUT: Hoof to hook and home

ABOVE: Visitors view the carcases in the chiller room at the Casino Food Co-op. Photos: Susanna Freymark

Susanna Freymark

The chiller room at the Casino Food Co-op is where champion cattle go after they are slaughtered.

Winners from the Beef Week cattle ring have ended up here — in a sterile room cooled to 10 degrees while the meatworks tours are on.

The temperature will go down to 2 degrees overnight. Chiller foreman Mick Russell said the meat keeps for four days at this low temperature.

Chiller foreman Mick Russell.

Each carcase is hung by its Achilles tendon on a shiny hook. 

“It keeps the meat tender and the blood can drain, “ Mr Russell said.

A laminated photo of the cow in the cattle ring with its owner is displayed on the side of the carcase.

The guests who’ve come to view the Beef Week carcases are dressed in white disposable overalls and head coverings for hygienic reasons. 

The bright red meat with its pattern of bones fills the space of the large chiller. The carcases hang like artworks as more than a hundred visitors tour the meatworks facility.

Viewing the champion carcases.

Mr Russell has worked at the Casino Food Co-op for 25 years and has been in charge of the chiller for five years.

The carcases can get as big as 750 kilos, he said.

Grand carcase champ went to the Nicholls family from Tookawahile stud at Rukenvale.

Visitors had to don protective clothing to enter the chiller.

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