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Chicken processing: Managing with the senses

Chicken processing is a relatively fast activity: In less than 30 minutes, a shipment can be processed and sent to the cooling zone, regardless if using water or air systems. For this reason, plant managers must hone their senses of Observing, listening, smelling, and touching, to have a real-time and detailed view of how the processes are progressing.
SOME EVERYDAY SITUATIONS: Although it’s true that the senses are always at play when evaluating our surroundings, it is recommended to prioritize the tasks to be carried out when one is in the plant supervising the process. Therefore, attention should be focused on one point at a time. This increases the possibility of taking in as much information as possible, evaluating them, and taking immediate corrective actions.
  • OBSERVE: Chickens frantically flapping once hung on the air conveyor. Consequences: Their stress increases. Bleeding, bruising, fractures, etc., occur.
  • LISTEN: Noise level in the environment – fans, motors. Etc. Consequences: In the waiting and hanging areas they cause stress to the birds.
  • SMELL: To determine foul odors due to improper cleaning and disinfection of equipment and facilities. Consequences: They affect the sanitary quality of the chickens that are being processed.
  • TOUCH: Products in the process to get a rough idea of surface temperature and texture.
All of the above comprise an effective routine carried out during broiler rearing and fattening.
This requirement becomes critical whether slaughtering at speeds of 1, 2, or 3 chickens/second. If the appropriate actions are not taken as soon as possible, the losses in quality and yield will increase the cost per kilo of processed meat. This consequently affects the product’s competitiveness in the market.

MANAGEMENT ACTIONS: To get the most out of all the information processed by our senses, we must implement the following introspective procedure: What messages can be derived from what was sensed?. Did they occur at the same time or throughout the processing?. Why are they happening?… Click here to read more

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