Submitted to: Georgia Poultry Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/20/2006
Publication Date: 9/27/2006
Citation: Northcutt, J.K. 2006. The Positives and Negatives of Air Chilling Poultry. Georgia Poultry Conference Proceedings. p. 37-42. Interpretive Summary: According to the USDA, poultry carcasses must be cooled to 40 F or below within 4 to 8 hours after slaughter depending upon the weight of the carcass. Cooling poultry prevents the growth of pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms. In the U.S., poultry has traditionally been cooled using immersion chilling, but other methods, such as air chilling, are gaining in popularity because of new restrictions on carcass moisture retention and concern over cross-contamination from submersion in a common bath. Preliminary research on dry air chilling and immersion chilling of poultry has demonstrated that both methods reduce carcass bacteria counts by about 1 log/mL. Dry air chilling provided no microbiological advantage over immersion chilling. Immersion chilled carcasses gained about 9% moisture based on pre-chill weight while dry air chilled carcass lost about 2.5% of their pre-chill carcass weight. Additional research is needed to examine cross contamination during immersion and air chilling and to evaluate the effects of various antimicrobial treatments during chilling.