Meat Cutting Instruction Spreadsheets

Small Meat Processors February 02, 2010 Print Friendly and PDF

Last Updated: Feb. 2010

Meat Cutting Instruction Spreadsheets: the Basics

These spreadsheets offer a convenient way to keep cutting instructions and invoices in order, if you have a computer in your plant. You must know how to use Excel to use these spreadsheets. These spreadsheets MUST be adapted to the specifics of your business (fees for service, types of products made, how cutting orders are taken).

The spreadsheets contain pages for beef, pork, sheep/goat, and deer, but - as with any Excel spreadsheet - more pages can be added if needed.

For beef and deer, Column E contains formulas to automatically calculate itemized processing costs and total the invoice. For pork and sheep/goat, Column D contains these formulas. In most cases, these columns should not be altered.

The columns for taking cutting orders are generic and will probably need to be adjusted for your business.

An individual workbook can be created for every customer and all the workbooks filed in one folder on your computer for easy reference by Last Name, First Name. For example the file would be called “Smith, John.xls” for customer John Smith.

How To Use These Spreadsheets

Based on the experience of several small processors, we recommend the following steps:

1. TRAIN STAFF: Train and/or hire staff to use a computer with Excel;

2. TAKE ORDERS: Use the form when taking a customer's order, either directly on your computer (or on a printed copy if computer is not near where you take orders, but then type your hand written order into the electronic form before cutting);

3. FILE ORDERS: Print a copy of the filled-out form and put it in a "New Orders" file until the carcass is ready for cutting. File the sheets in the order in which they will be cut depending on the desired "hang time." Group orders from the same animal together in this file (possibly paper-clipped). If you process a large volume of animals, simplify your system by creating separate "New Orders" folders for each species;

4. AT TIME OF CUTTING: Give printed cutting order to the cutting room, for the following info to be noted by hand on the form:

  • Carcass weight
  • Pounds tenderized
  • Pounds ground
  • Patties or trim
  • Where whole muscle cuts are stored in freezer.


Keep the sheet with the meat that goes to the sausage kitchen. (Some plants will weigh and/or make ground and patties in the sausage kitchen.)

5. RECORD VALUE-ADDED PRODUCTS: When sausages (or other value-added products) are done, record where they are stored in the freezer on the cut form by hand.

6. FILE COMPLETED FORM: File the cutting form in a "Done" file at your register. Note on the form when calls are made notifying the customer that the order is ready.

7. REVISE & FINALIZE INVOICE: Revise the electronic invoice based on notes made on the sheet during cutting and processing (pounds processed of all the product types) and print the final invoice before or when the customer comes to pick up and pay.

Excel Cutting Orders Invoicing v1.xls

If you have suggestions about to improve the spreadsheets, please send them to Arion Thiboumery.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.