Conor McAlister, Meat Technical Skills Programme, CAFRE Loughry Campus.

Copy of an article previously posted on CAFRE website

My name is Conor McAlister I am the managing director of Lakeview Farm Meats Ltd., a new beef and lamb abattoir based in Crumlin, Co. Antrim.  I have past experience in food production and processing, but I was always keen to start my own business. As I was planning to design, construct and develop my new beef processing business I was aware that I didn’t have any relevant qualifications in food safety or meat technology. I identified the BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Meat Technical Skills at Loughry Campus, Cookstown as a useful course to complete.

I registered for the full programme which involved the completion of five core one day units on:

  1. Factors affecting meat quality,
  2. Shelf-life of meat products,
  3. Legislation and labelling of meat products,
  4. HACCP (Hazard analysis critical control points)
  5. Auditing for continuous improvement.

I followed up by studying two further optional units on cost minimisation and packaging of meat products.

I have just successfully completed the BTEC Level 3 Advanced award. I found the programme challenging but I got great support from the staff at Loughry to understand and apply the course material.

The skills and knowledge I learned on the programme will help me manage some of the everyday issues and problems I will encounter. For example I now have a better understanding of meat science and the factors affecting quality of the products I make, which is what my business is all about.

The course also allowed me to develop contacts and network with other people like the experienced meat technologists at Loughry Campus who were able to advise me on other food technology issues in my new factory.

I have really enjoyed doing the meat technical skills programme at Loughry, I plan to return to CAFRE Loughry Campus to complete other courses as I continue to develop my expertise in meat technology.

Conor McAllister, Lakeview Farm Meats and Dessie Brady, Food technologist, CAFRE
Conor McAllister, Lakeview Farm Meats and Dessie Brady, Food technologist, CAFRE

Conor McAllister, Lakeview Farm Meats in the freezer!
Conor McAllister, Lakeview Farm Meats in the freezer!