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The industry groups are distinguished by the raw materials (generally of animal or vegetable origin) processed into food products.

The food products manufactured in these establishments are typically sold to wholesalers or retailers for distribution to consumers, but establishments primarily engaged in retailing bakery and candy products made on the premises not for immediate consumption are included. [Source - 2007 NAICS ]



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Workers in the food manufacturing industry link farmers and other agricultural producers with consumers. They do this by processing raw fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, and dairy products into finished goods ready for the grocer or wholesaler to sell to households, restaurants, or institutional food services.

Food Manufacturing

Food manufacturing workers perform tasks as varied as the many foods we eat. For example, they slaughter, dress, and cut meat or poultry; process milk, cheese, and other dairy products; can and preserve fruits, vegetables, and frozen specialties; manufacture flour, cereal, pet foods, and other grain mill products; make bread, cookies, cakes, and other bakery products; manufacture sugar and candy and other confectionery products; process shortening, margarine, and other fats and oils; and prepare packaged seafood, coffee, potato and corn chips, and peanut butter. Although this list is long, it is not exhaustive. Food manufacturing workers also play a part in delivering numerous other food products to our tables.

Quality control and quality assurance are vital to this industry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service branch oversees all aspects of food manufacturing. In addition, other food safety programs have been adopted recently as issues of chemical and bacterial contamination and new food-borne pathogens remain a public health concern. For example, by applying science-based controls from raw materials to finished products, a food safety program called Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point focuses on identifying hazards and preventing them from contaminating food in early stages of meat processing. The program relies on individual plants developing and implementing safety measures along with a system to intercept potential contamination points, which is then subject to USDA inspections.
[ Excerpted from Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Career Guide to Industries, 2008-09 Edition - Food Manufacturing ]