Plant Design: Meats and Alternative Proteins

Beef, Poultry, Pork, Fish and Seafood, Pet Food, and Plant-Based Alternatives

Connect with an Expert in Meats and Alternative Proteins

Why Choose IFAB to Design Your Meat or Alternative Protein Plant?

From handling eggs to curing meats, your products require a process that is delicate, respects animal welfare, and ensures sufficient storage. You need a team with expertise in integrating the hygienic and ethical requirements for meat and alternative protein processing, livestock handling, and suitable cold or dry storage systems.

Our Experience Designing Meat and Alternative Protein Plants

Not all cooks have the same experience, and not all engineering companies have designed food processing plants.

When you’re investing in a strategic project for your food company, you don’t want a partner that is trying a new recipe with your budget.

We have worked with protein processing companies, from beef to plant-based alternatives, and have built hygienic, optimized spaces that work.

Connect with a Food and Beverage Professional

See our experience in process plant designs for specific proteins:

Beef Processing

IFAB’s work in the beef sector includes both primary and secondary processing with the top national processors across Canada. We have the knowledge and expertise to complete any size of beef processing project.

Features in past designs for beef processing include:

  • Live Receiving and Handling Systems
  • Stunning and Slaughter Systems for beef and other species
  • CFIA Regulations for Specified Risk Material (SRM)
  • Cut Floor Optimization
  • Secondary Processing including whole muscle and blended sausage, grinding, hot dog formulation, forming, breading, and charbroil systems
  • Provincial and Federal Registrations
  • Hygienic Facility Design
  • Air Balancing and Desiccant Systems
  • Utilities Engineering
  • Cold Storage Systems

Portfolio: Beef

IFAB’s work in the beef sector includes both primary and secondary processing with some of the top national processors across Canada.

Primary Beef Processing Facility

Atlantic Canada

Analyzed product flow and reconfigured packaging and line layouts for improved productivity.

Primary Beef Processing Facility

Southern Ontario

Conducted a water usage study and redesigned systems for increased efficiencies.

Primary Beef and Multi-Species Processing Facility


Completed a Master Facility Plan for a new multi-species federal facility.

Retail and Foodservice Meat Products


Assisted a family-run company to manage continuous growth, resulting in a brand new facility with state-of-the-art equipment.

New Service Centres

Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia, and North Carolina

Prepared initial plans and building designs with federal compliance for several case-ready meat processing plants. Designed process layouts and coordinated equipment installation and start-up.

Primary Beef Processing Facility


Completed design and procedure modifications to be compliant with both SRM regulations and to achieve process throughput improvements.

Secondary Beef Processing Facility

Southern Ontario

Completed design and engineering for a renovation of a facility for secondary beef processing.

Primary and Secondary Beef Processing


IFAB developed a Master Facility Plan for a beef processing facility capable of 1000 head per day and included hot boning, traditional cut floors, and wastewater treatment. Adherence to CFIA and EU requirements were considered throughout the design process.

Hamburger Line and Freezer Addition

British Columbia

Provided project management, full design, and procurement support for a new hamburger line renovation and freezer addition to allow greater production throughput and increased distribution flexibility at the facility.

Pork Processing

IFAB’s technical and process expertise is sought by pork producers across Canada, US, and Mexico. Our team members have worked at numerous facilities and remain active with our extensive network of equipment experts to provide the most up-to-date solutions available.

Features in past designs for pork processing include:

  • CO2 Stunning Systems
  • Receiving and Barn Renovations
  • Kill and Cut Floor Expansions
  • Packaging Systems
  • Waste Reduction
  • By-Product Recovery
  • Hygienic Facility Design
  • Japanese Market
  • Air Balancing and Desiccant Systems
  • Utility Engineering
  • Cold Storage Systems

Portfolio: Pork

IFAB’s technical and process expertise is sought by pork producers across Canada and into the US and Mexico.

Primary Pork Facility Expansion


Created, engineered, and managed a multi-phase master facility plan to double throughput. A long-term relationship with the client was initiated in 2007, with phases of expansion continuing today. Provided consulting on all aspects of processes, from the barn to a new CO2 stunning process, cut floor, packaging, and distribution.

Primary Pork Facility Expansion


Consulted and provided engineering and project management for several phases of facility expansion including a new carcass cooler, an expansion for dry storage, and a realignment of internal processes.

Primary Pork Facility Redesign


Consulted and provided Live AutoCAD to modify existing dressing floor, change the facility for dual kill lines, expand cooler, and modify rails. All designs included keeping the existing USDA plant running.

Primary Pork Process Redesign


Consulted and provided Live AutoCAD to review multiple layout options for a new cut and packaging layout for 600 heads per hour.

Primary Pork Process Redesign


Provided a redesign of layout to increase packaging throughput. Total process ‘Gap Analysis’ to facilitate funding requirements of the SLIM funding program.

Primary Pork Facility Expansion to Double Throughput


Provided on-site project management and design leadership for multiple projects to support expansion to the second shift. Projects included dehumidification, blood tanks, rail modifications, boning lines, and by-product harvesting.

Secondary Pork Processing Facility Expansion


Developed a new process and building expansion to create the largest bacon facility in Canada.

New Service Centre

North Carolina

Prepared preliminary building design for a 72,000 square foot case-ready meats processing plant with USDA compliance. Designed process layouts and coordinated equipment installation and start-up.

Service Centre Rebuild

British Columbia

Prepared preliminary building design for a 67,000 square foot case-ready meats processing plant to replace a building damaged by a fire. Designed process layouts and coordinated equipment installation and start-up.

Hog Processing Facility

Southern Ontario

Provided design and project management of a new 34,000 square foot federally registered hog processing facility for 1,000 hogs per day.

Cut, Pack, and Chill Optimization Project


IFAB’s engineering and design consultations led to the development of a Master Facility Plan to significantly increase productivity, including cutting, packing, chilling, and shipping of hogs.

Primary Pork Process Redesign


Provided consulting services and detailed engineering for a multi-year phased update and expansion. Designs included a controlled atmosphere stunner and other upgrades for humane treatment, as well as equipment selection and full project opinion of cost.

Primary Pork Facility Retrofit


A plant-wide overhaul was engineered to convert a beef processing facility into a sow and market hog processing facility. Phased planning and designs include changes to increase throughput and the installation of a controlled atmosphere stunning system.

Primary Pork Facility


This project was a significant multi-year undertaking of phased growth for a primary pork producer. Work included full engineering and project management to expand the plant and incorporate a new atmospheric stunning system, all while avoiding disruptions to the active operation and preventing the need for future rework.

Poultry Processing

We have extensive, long-term experience working in the poultry sector with the top national producers across Canada. IFAB has completed poultry projects of all sizes, including fully-engineered renovations and expansions, feasibility for new green field development, and extensive studies for process flow modifications.

Features in past designs for poultry processing include:

  • Live Receiving and Handling Systems
  • Gas Stunning
  • Slaughter
  • Halal and Kosher
  • Deboning
  • Air Chill Design
  • Further Processing
  • Hygienic Facility Design
  • Air Balancing and Desiccant Systems
  • Utility Engineering
  • Cold Storage Systems

Portfolio: Poultry

Our work in the poultry sector has been both extensive and long-term with the top national producers across Canada.

Large Poultry Cooperative


Created, engineered, and managed a master facility plan for an expansion of the existing facility. The project included a feasibility study for four possible options to upgrade kill to chill operations for chicken and turkey.

National Poultry Operations

Southern Ontario

This long-term partnership with a national producer led to a master plan and project execution which included throughput modifications, live receiving systems, hen dolly conversion, kill floor expansion, new air chill, new freezers, auxiliary buildings, and a retail outlet.

National Poultry Producer


Modified existing operations to add cooling capacity and increase dehumidification capabilities.

New Poultry Plant

Nova Scotia

Worked in partnership with poultry producer to go from concept to reality for a state-of-the-art 190,000 square foot chicken and turkey processing plant.

Poultry Processing Renovation

Southern Ontario

Designed and project managed a renovation and expansion of the existing industrial building to create a 70,000 square foot poultry processing plant.

Turkey Processing Plant Conversion


IFAB provided design, engineering, and project management to convert a pork processing plant into a turkey processing facility. This award-winning project was the largest single investment in the Canadian turkey industry in 25 years and recycled a dormant building into a productive and efficient operation.

Case Ready Poultry Process Upgrade


Efficiency and throughput were significantly enhanced in this consumer-ready poultry operation through effective equipment selections, integration, and added automation. IFAB provided process improvement consultation, full engineering, tender, permit, and project management services for this hugely successful upgrade.

Fish and Seafood Processing

Fish and seafood is a broad category of protein that includes dozens of species of freshwater and seawater fish and shellfish, with multiple methods of preparation. Any processing plant working with fish or seafood requires well thought-out sanitary processes to prevent contamination, with significant attention given to the use of water.

Features in past designs for fish and seafood processing include:

  • Design of aquaculture facilities and harvesting methods
  • Hygienic design of seafood processing
  • Value-added processing including deboning, portioning, and smoking
  • Experience with both IQF and fresh seafood products
  • Bulk batter and breading systems
  • Packaging and canning systems

Portfolio: Fish/Seafood

Seafood Facility Expansion


Provided engineering and design support for a seafood facility expansion, allowing both fresh and frozen fish to be processed and packaged. Processes included hot smoke, cold smoke, and specialized packaging processes to account for frozen and fresh product lines.

Primary Fish Processing Optimization


Provided analysis and evaluation of multiple interconnected sites to understand process optimization, investment rationalization, expansion opportunities, and costs associated with upgrades.

Seafood Production Space Optimization


Assessed facility processes and then selected floorplan enhancements and equipment for optimal production of a variety of seafood products within a confined footprint.

Pet Food

For many, pets are considered part of the family. This is why we take the designing of pet food facilities seriously and believe that hygienic design is important to prevent contamination and to maintain food safety, for the health of our four-legged friends. From raw ingredients to finished and packaged pet food products, we understand processes for sanitation and waste management considerations.

Features in past designs for pet food processing include:

  • Processing and packaging for raw pet food
  • Extrusion and cooking processes for dry pet food
  • Attention to high quality, traceability, and sanitation systems
  • Packaging and canning methods
  • Reverse osmosis systems for superior water quality
  • Dust control
  • Waste reduction and waste management

Portfolio: Pet Food

Raw Pet Food Producer


Developed a Master Facility Plan with raw pet food producer to determine equipment layouts, warehouse size based on projected turns, regulation compliance, and a brand-appropriate exterior design for a new, greenfield production facility. Provided engineering for mechanical and electrical systems through construction.

Premium Pet Food Producer


Worked with a pet food producer to engineer solutions for air issues, including all necessary structural components. These projects were carried out to keep the facility running while making the adjustments.

Plant-Based Protein Processing

The increasing drive for excellent plant-based proteins has allowed the IFAB team to offer services for vegetable protein isolates (such as pea protein) and for alternative meat and dairy products. Innovation continues, and we understand how to modify and apply traditional processing methods for these new products.

We have the knowledge and expertise to complete any size of plant-based protein projects, including:

  • Hygienic design of building and plant-based protein processing lines
  • Plant protein extraction methods, including wet fractionation processes and spray drying
  • Processes for plant-based products including mixing, portioning, extruding, baking, and packaging
  • Applicable design requirements from CFIA, USDA, and HACCP certifications

Portfolio: Plant-Based