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Cleanliness while processing?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Erint, May 9, 2011.

  1. Erint

    Erint Hatching

    May 7, 2011
    What steps do you take to keep things clean during processing? If you cut the bowl is their risk of getting sick etc? Can you wash the meat?

  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    We've had nicks in the gut when processing, it's yucky but it's not going to endanger your health. You just wash the carcass off when you're done and everything slides off. It doesn't, say, infect the meat or anything.
  3. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Songster

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    I tie the birds' feet with baling twine and hang them upside down on a fence while they bleed out so they don't flop around in the dirt and get all nasty. After they're plucked and gutted (tearing into the crop or intestine happens sometimes, not a huge deal) I soak the birds for half an hour in salt water to make sure all the blood is out of them and then rinse them well in cool water before packaging.
  4. homesteadapps

    homesteadapps Songster

    Nov 8, 2010
    Keep everything clean just like you do when preparing for cooking.

    We keep some clorox water to sanitize hands, knives, etc between birds.

    If you cut into something you didn't mean to just rinse it off with plain water.

    If it's warm out cool the birds down in cold or ice water until finished.

    Soaking the birds in water will help keep the meat to look more appealing (no dark blood spots)

    Good luck.
  5. Denninmi

    Denninmi Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    I think everyone should always assume that all poultry carry Salmonella, Campylobacter, etc., and use safe food handling and preparation techniques. I'd be willing to bet that free ranging, healthy birds raised by an amateur are a lot cleaner than factory farmed birds, but still should just assume the meat will have some level of bacteria. Just try to keep the processing as clean as possible. Cook it thoroughly.

    EGGTASKTIC Chirping

    Sep 16, 2009
    I use a spay bottle with bleach and a few drops of dish soap. Spray and scrub all the equipment off before we start and again when done.
    The birds go into a big tub with ice , salt and vinegar after plucking and gutting. I use as much stainless steel as possible.

    I try to keep things as clean as possible, but IMO it is more important to keep the time line short. We go from live to packed and in the freezer in 5 to 6 hrs if we cut the birds up. About 3 hrs if they are frozen whole.

    I get as many hands to help as I can and keep the process moving- Prep the night before and then in the morning I scrub down while the scalding water is heating. The first bird is plucked and hits the processing table as I rinse it off and we go full bore till done. I have a cousin
    that is super at catching- killing and plucking. I have 4 cones and he does 2 at a time and has a good pace so the plucker is cleaning 2 birds as 2 other bleed out as he catches 2 other and slits them for bleed out.
  7. AlbionWood

    AlbionWood Songster

    May 24, 2010
    Albion, California
    I take great care to avoid nicking the guts. Yes, you can wash the meat if you do nick something, but getting all the bacteria out of the body cavity is pretty nearly impossible, so for me it's worth the extra time to avoid that contamination in the first place.

    I also like to clean off the caracass after plucking and before gutting, so contamination isn't transferred from the skin to the insides. I think if you take reasonable care this way you will end up with a carcass that is much, much cleaner than anything in the store. Since I prefer to let the carcasses rest for 24 to 48 hours before freezing, to let the muscles relax so the meat is more tender, having a really clean carcass is important to me. The inside is more important than the outside IMO, because the outside is always exposed to more heat during cooking.

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