Anatomy of the pig

Understanding the anatomy of the pig is very important if you are working with its meat.  Here we look at the anatomy of the pig and discuss the relevant issues.

Understanding the head is the first lesson in hygiene.  Removing the head in the right way is crucial to prevent contamination of the carcass.

Pig's Head.png


“High levels of microbial contamination are associated with the head, particularly tonsils and tongues.  Early bead removal, including excision of the tonsils and tongue, may be done immediately before evisceration.  If not previously done, eyelids and the inside portion of the ears will be removed immediately before head removal.  The head is removed using a knife and trimmed off any residual hair.  Head removal is best achieved by cutting directly above each ear cutting into the seam outlining the seam outlining the jaw on both sides of the head.  The atlas joint joining the head to the body may then be cut, followed by the esophagus and trachea.  It is important that the esophagus is cut directly above the epiglottis to avoid cutting through the lymph nodes, which will be subsequently inspected.  The head may be left attached to the carcass by the remaining skin and muscle or completely severed and washed.”  (Dikeman, M., et al.; 2014:  301)


Editors, Dikeman, M., Devine, C..  2014.  Encyclopedia of Meat Science; second edition; Volume 1.  Academic Press, London.

Pogs carcass: