“When you think of Wisconsin agriculture, you shouldn’t just think of dairy farms. Wisconsin is home to iconic meat brands like Johnsonville, Klement’s, and Usinger. We probably eat more brats per person than any other state. And it’s not by chance that our professional basebeall team’s mascots are a group of racing sausages. So it’s entirely appropriate that UW-Madison is opening the best meat and animal biologics research building in the country.”
Former Chancellor Rebecca Blank (2020)
The Meat Science & Animal Biologics Discovery (MSABD) program is part of UW-Madison’s Animal Sciences & Dairy Sciences department and long-standing tradition. The MSABD building represents a more than $50 million investment made possible by significant support from the State and numerous alumni, businesses, and friends. It will serve as a hub for problem-solvers looking to improve the meat industry, animal and human health, agriculture, the environment, and overall quality of life in Wisconsin, the U.S., and beyond.
Our worthy work
In this facility, we seek to develop the next generation of meat industry leaders, discover new medicinal uses for non-food animal components, serve as a resource for the meat industry, and provide objective expertise about foods derived from animals. We deliver consumer education while offering wholesome meat products to the campus and surrounding communities through our retail store.
To help us accomplish our mission, we leverage the wealth of multi-disciplinary expertise found across the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus, from food research and veterinary medicine to pharmacy and public health.
The Meat Science program has a deep history and a bright future as a result of Wisconsin’s rich agriculture industry. This building serves as a resource to fulfill the mission of the university, to conduct teaching, research and outreach in three programmatic themes:
From live animals to ready-to-eat products, we study animal care, meat quality, and product preparation and processing first-hand in our state-of-the-art pilot plant.
In our advanced biosafety level 2 facility, we develop, test, qualify, quantify, and validate safety standards deemed important for the food industry and consumers.
We search for molecules and tissues from livestock and poultry that improve animal and human health.
Our building capabilities
MEAT & POULTRY PROCESSING
A place to discover, learn and advance meat science for students of all ages and companies of all sizes.
The meat and poultry processing plant accommodates all meat processing (fresh through ready-to-eat) functions within a single building.
Core functions and features of the facility include:
- USDA-FSIS inspection
- Sanitary design principles
- Red meat and poultry harvest
- Carcass spray- and ultra-chill
- Fabrication and further processing
- Thermal processing
- Post-thermal processing
- Commercial CO2 stunning
- Fully functional chemistry lab
- Sensory booths for product evaluation
- Product shelf-life display with RGBW LED lighting
- Utilities include electricity (up to 480V/200A),
reverse osmosis water, culinary steam, CO2 liqueur and gas, compressed air, and wire/wireless networking
- Classrooms with theater-viewing of refrigerated displays
- Full A/V integration between processing plant, classrooms, and on/off campus with two-way interactions
- Collaboration room for clients and guests
Where microbiologists and meat scientists work to keep consumers safe by ensuring safe food.
The biosafety level 2 (BSL2) lab has pathogen-inoculated animal harvest capability, meat processing functions, and a microbiology lab to enable food challenge studies that mimic in-process and post-process contaminations.
Program capabilities include:
- Pre- and Post-harvest strategies for food safety
- Processed meat (fresh through ready-to-eat) food safety validation including:
- Effect of antimicrobial ingredients
- Stabilization strategies (cooling)
- Processing parameters for lethality
- Fermented sausages and other dried meat products
- Development of surrogates for validation studies
- BSL2 pathogens: Clostridium perfringens, Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Salmonella, Shiga-toxin producing coli (e.g. O157:H7)
- Up to 500 lb. batch capacity for manufacture, thermal, and post-thermal processing of whole muscle and comminuted further processed meat products
- Installation of equipment for microbiological studies or sanitary design evaluation and equipment decontamination
Click for a full list of capabilities for the Meat & Poultry Processing Plant and Food Safety spaces or access the MSABD brochure.