Thursday 02 July 2015

The Chadwick Family's EMPORIUM OF FINE FOODS


Meat Counter

Fine Meats



It is through our state-of-the-art abattoir that best-of-breed livestock is slaughtered and prepared for sale.

The abattoir complex comprises three main areas of operation: the lairage; the slaughterhouse; and the cutting room.

When livestock (i.e. cattle and lambs) are delivered by their farmers, each animal enters the lairage (i.e. a large covered shelter) located at the side of the slaughterhouse.

Originally, the lairage was used to house cattle and lambs for up to one week before being slaughtered. During their stay, animals enjoyed clean, dry and spacious holding pens, and were given the freedom to roam and graze on privately owned land directly opposite.
Race (inside lairage)

Unfortunately, due to various BSE scares and the recent Foot and Mouth crisis, legislation dictates that we are no longer able to hold livestock for any great length of time. Therefore, the lairage is no longer used to house livestock. However, since all our cattle and lambs arrive after short journeys from their local farms, stress caused to the animals is minimal. Therefore, upon arrival, we are able to slaughter humanely and quickly without any unnecessary delay.

In the case of cattle, each animal is unloaded and guided into a race situated inside the lairage (see the picture above-right). The animal then proceeds down the race and into a stun box within the slaughterhouse. In total, it takes between 5-10 minutes for an animal to leave the delivery wagon and enter the stun box.

For lambs, the animals are guided through the race and into a holding pen behind a stunning area. Each lamb is then carried individually by a slaughterman to a stun cradle within the slaughterhouse.

Slaughterhouse [top]
We have prepared a set of informative and educational materials (i.e. text and videos) which describe the slaughtering process for both cattle and lambs.

If you are interested in gaining an understanding of the slaughtering process, please click here to continue.

Cutting Room [top]
Once cattle and lambs have been slaughtered and dressed, their carcasses are removed from the slaughterhouse and hung in a refrigerated area to cool.

Typically, carcasses will be left for between 18-24 hours before being taken to the cutting room. It is here where our Guild of Q butchers skillfully cut and prepare the meat for sale in the shop, 1817 cafe bar and restaurant, and to our wholesale customers.
Cutting room

Beef is then packed in special 'vac pacs' (vacuum packages) to enable at least 28 days maturity before sale. In the case of lamb, 'vac pac' storage is around 7 days before sale.

At all times, we adhere to strict animal welfare and hygiene legislation to ensure our meat is the safest, highest quality produce available.

Unfortunately, such is the "gold-plating" and pointless nature of some of these legislative measures that many independent, small abattoirs owners are unable to cope with the mountains of paperwork and additional expense. Consequently, more and more of these generations-old abattoirs are being forced to close down - quite unnecessarily.

To help counter this, and fight for the survival of small abattoirs (such as ours), John Chadwick founded SAFe - the Small Abattoir Federation. For more information, click here.

If you have any questions about our abattoir, or perhaps you would like to organise a visit during operation, please do not hesitate to contact us - we will be happy to help.


"Ours is one of a dwindling number of small, privately owned abattoirs. It is vital that these plants survive in order that farmers and butchers can continue to provide best quality, locally produced meat to their communities." [John Chadwick, Managing Director]

(c) 2013 Noel Chadwick Ltd. All rights reserved.


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