Sanitary Processing: Steps To Safely Clean Poultry

Cleanliness is next to godliness!

If you choose to perform evisceration on a table, I recommend having running water available or a pail of bleach water to keep your surface clean between each bird. Although the chance of serious contamination may be low, it’s not worth the risk to the consumer’s health or your business. Follow these steps to ensure sanitary processing.

SHACKLE SENSE: Most volume produc- ers will choose to eviscerate on shackles, devices that make it easier to maintain a sanitary environment by suspending the bird in the air while you gut and clean. The advantages to using shackles include decreased risk of surface contamination, improved ergonomic positioning of the carcass and gravity-assisted removal of unwanted material. If you don’t have the funds for buying a professional shackle, try rigging one from a heavy gauge wire (stainless preferred).

CLEAN AS YOU GO: Regardless of the method you use, be sure to clean up your work area as soon as the last bird is cleaned. Although you will surely be tired and tempted to wait a while, the bugs will not. All those little bits of skin and excrement are full of just the sort of nasty bacteria that thrive on neglect, not to mention maggots and other more visible forms of disgust. Scrubbing down surfaces now is the best way to avoid future problems.

FEED YOUR COMPOST BIN: When considering a dumping ground for the ofal (guts, feathers and other waste), keep in mind that it makes wonderful compost! Just dig a shallow hole in your field, dump in the offal, sprinkle everything with a bit of lime or wood ash, and cover. Compost enthusiasts will want to layer-in sawdust, leaves or other carbon sources that help hold the nutrients.

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