Bleach or No Bleach?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by goldfinches, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. Yes, (please give me an estimate of how much you use)

    0 vote(s)
  2. No

    15 vote(s)
  3. No, but I use _______ .

    0 vote(s)
  4. Other (explain in comments)

    1 vote(s)
  1. goldfinches

    goldfinches Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2011
    I'm getting ready to process this weekend. I've done it before and was taught to put bleach in the cooling water. I have seen so many people who don't do it - and I don't want to do it.

    If you don't cut the bile duct or intestines, you're good, right?

    If you do use bleach, could you give me an idea of how much you use? (My "cooling tank" is a 35 gallon garbage can.)
  2. trifecta

    trifecta Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2012
    Laidley, QLD, Australia
    I don't use bleach. I rinse each carcass thoroughly with cold water prior to final cutting/packaging.

    I also use a meat thermometer when I cook :) (not just for chicken, but in general). Haven't died yet... or even had food poisoning.
  3. Salt and Light

    Salt and Light Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2008
    Osteen, FL
    I bleach and rinse almost everything before butchering. But, I can't even imagine putting bleach in cooling water. Part of the idea of raising chickens is getting away from chemicals. Use standard hygiene common sense and you'll be fine.
  4. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Bleach on my food? Absolutely not. For one thing, bleach is not edible and it has a strange taste. I would consider it to be contamination of it got onto my food.

    Have your implements clean, Butcher the chickens, pluck, then rinse before opening. Gut and then rinse them inside and out, and then into the ice water for fast chilling. Then before you package them, rinse them again with clean water so that they are ready to come right out of the freezer and into the pan.

    If you nick the intestines, just rinse carefully., There is nothing poisonous inside a chicken. With the exception of inside the intestines, there are absolutely no germs of any kind inside the muscles or under the skin, or inside the body cavity. What is inside the intestines is easily rinsed off.

    Your home raised meat will be much cleaner than anything you can buy. Stop worrying about germs. Unless you treat the meat badly, don't rinse it or leave it sitting out warm for hours, it is very clean and safe. Use some standard meat handling methods and there is no danger from germs with home raised and home butchered meat.

    (I do put dish soap into the scald water for ducks and geese. It rinses off and the same soap is in contact with the dishes i eat off of, so I know it is not toxic.)
  5. weaversfarm

    weaversfarm Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 28, 2012
    I was a waitress for several years and the health dept. came in for a surprise inspection and all the fish and a pork roast had to be put in the garbage and bleach poured over it while the inspector looked on to make sure the meat and fish wasn't used. I couldn't imagine putting bleach on any of my food no matter how diluted. Bleach is still bleach, diluted or not doesn't matter. When we processed our chicken we used cold water to put them in for cooling purposes. You are supposed to cook chicken until well done anyways, so any bacteria would die during the cooking process. I don't use bleach and wouldn't recommend anyone using bleach on food they intend to eat.
  6. frostbite

    frostbite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2011
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    For that matter, any place that has a food service license is required, when hand washing dishes, that a final rinse of a 1 percent bleach solution be used to sanitize the dishes after the initial rinse. I have to assume trace amounts of bleach are not a problem, if it's okay to eat off plates that are rinsed with bleach, it's probably okay to eat chickens that are rinsed with bleach.

    On the other hand, bacteria are everywhere, even in animal carcasses once they are dead and their immune systems aren't functioning properly any more. Just handling the meat adds bacteria. But it's in small enough amounts it doesn't hurt the taste, and poses little risk, especially when cooking pretty much kills them all. So I don't think "sanitizing" food like that is necessary. The one and only chicken I ever slaughtered and cleaned, I just used water and rinsed it well.

    I didn't use an ice bath, because I was ignorant, but after rinsing so much with cold water (it comes out of our well at about 35-40 degrees) and throwing it on the porch (20 below) for a few days, 8 hours in a crock pot with vegetables and seasonings made a bad rooster into a very good rooster, so I'm not feeling remorseful about my processing skills. ;)

    To clarify; in my not so humble opinion, bleach rinse is NOT dangerous, but it's also not necessary
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  7. Buster52

    Buster52 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 28, 2009
    Geronimo Oklahoma
    We clean our equipment with a bleach and detergent solution before we begin, and our processing table is cleaned with it between birds, but we don't use anything in the birds themselves or in the chill tank.

    Industrial ag has to do that because the birds aren't clean when they go into the tank, so they need something to kill pathogens. That shouldn't be the case with a small scale operation.

    Some folks I know do use a solution in their chill tanks, but it isn't bleach. I'll look it up to see what they use and get back to you. Whatever it is, it is allowed in organic operations.
  8. SmokinChick

    SmokinChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    Kingsville, MD
    If you have ever drank water from a municipal system, you drank (ate) bleach.
  9. SmokinChick

    SmokinChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    Kingsville, MD
    Just to add. Cooking doeas kill bacteria if high enough heat for long enough. But it does not neutralize the toxins released by the bacteria while they were alive in the meat. It is the toxins that will make you sick.
  10. goldfinches

    goldfinches Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2011
    Thank you for all the answers. I actually am a former restaurant manager and have had enough college classes and food safety classes that I know enough about bacteria to either not worry or be terrified of it, lol! Yes, the final sink does have to be a bleach solution, so I am not afraid of using it to clean implements, tables, etc. I know it evaporates. It was just the bleach on the meat that wasn't sitting well in my mind. (the only reason I would think it would be useful would be accidental puncturing of the intestinal track or bile.)

    The guy who taught me showed me the *i shan't name the local chicken processing plant* mentality way, so it was obviously pretty institutionalized.

    Then I shall go with a NO for bleach in the cooling water.

    (Keep voting - I left the poll open for a little while to see if, over time, a broader answer base comes up with anything different.)
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012

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