The LDS Cannery in Denver recently got upgraded to handle meats. So, yesterday we did beef chunks, they also can do chicken and pork and cream of chicken soup, as well as the old standbys of tomato soup and salsa. The USDA inspector comes at least once every day and said he's been impressed by the quality and cleanliness of the volunteers, usually beating the professional meat packers he's also inspecting. I would have loved to get a chance to ask him why he thought that was the case but it was to noisy and busy.
We had about a dozen volunteers doing most of the work, packing the meat into the cans, putting the cans into the basket to go into the pressure canners and packing the finished cans into boxes.
There were 4 missionaries, not the young kids most people see, these are older people doing a couple of years of service who are trained at the process and how to repair the machines and do the more critical/hazardous work like using the crane to move the baskets of cans to and from the pressure canners.
The most amazing thing is how with about 5 minutes of instruction we just self-organized into doing jobs we thought ourselves were best suited for and dove right in.
We blazed through 4 pallets of beef chunks, about 1600 pounds of meat in 4 hours. Even with the lidding machine occasionally eating cans instead of topping and sealing them properly. The cannery itself did 80,000 pounds in the past 4 weeks. Not bad for a place of only about 3000 sq. ft. and a bunch of volunteers.