Carry out trimming of meat or poultry

Business Sectors (Suites): Meat and Poultry Processing
Developed by: Improve
Approved on: 01 Jan 2019


This standard is about the skills and knowledge needed for you to carry out trimming of meat or poultry in food manufacture and/or supply operations. Trimming is important at all stages of the process through production from post slaughter carcass trimming to trimming joints and pre-sale cuts and joints. Trimming to remove unwanted fat and bone gristle, to maximise yields and margins and to reduce food waste is important in the production of a final product that adheres to organisational classification, quality and yield specifications. You need to be able to use the correct tools and equipment, maximise yield and maintain quality, handle and store meat or poultry and dispose of waste products following organisational and regulatory standards. This standard is for you if you work in food manufacture and/or supply operations and are involved in carrying out trimming of meat or poultry.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

Prepare to carry out trimming

  1. prepare to carry out trimming in accordance with organisational


  2. wear and use appropriate personal protective equipment for

    trimming in accordance with regulatory standards and

    organisational requirements

  3. check with the relevant person the trimming required

  4. check the availability and cleanliness of work area, tools and


  5. source the meat or poultry requiring trimming

  6. choose the correct knives and ensure they are sharp, clean and

    suitable for purpose

  7. check availability of storage areas for final product and waste


  8. refer problems outside limits of your responsibility to relevant


    Trim meat cuts

  9. check that the meat or poultry for trimming meets customer or

    organisational specifications and follow organisational procedures

    to deal with it if it does not

  10. use appropriate tools and equipment to trim meat or poultry at the

    pace to meet production requirements efficiently, safely and


  11. trim meat or poultry to meet customer or organisational quality

    and yield specifications

  12. minimise waste from trimming and store for disposal

  13. maintain pace of trimming to organisational requirements

  14. work within the limits of your responsibility and address problems

    to relevant people

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. why it is important to follow organisational standard operating

    procedures and product specifications when carrying out trimming


    1. why trimming is carried out on post-slaughter carcasses, joints

    and presale cuts

    1. how ineffective trimming can lead to wastage, potential customer

    complaints and lost revenue

    1. the muscle, fat, bone, connective tissue, ligaments and collagen

    of meat or poultry

    1. the tools and equipment required to carry out trimming of meat or


    1. why it is important to check the cleanliness of tools and equipment

    2. how to handle the meat or poultry to maintain its quality

    3. how to avoid product contamination and maintain food safety

    during trimming operations

    1. how to access the correct organisational specifications

    2. why it is important to adhere to organisational yield and quality


    1. the importance of trimming to the presentation of meat or poultry

    for sale

    1. the importance of precision cutting in trimming operations

    2. why it is important to maintain the pace and flow of production

    according to organisational requirements

    1. how to store waste products for disposal from trimming operations

    2. how to deal with operating problems within the limits of your



Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

01 Jan 2024





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Manufacturing Technologies, Plant and Machine Operatives, Process Operatives, Process, Plant and Machine Operatives

SOC Code



Meat; Poultry; Trimming; Process; Slaughter; Carcass; Food; Drink