Many things appear the same on the surface—the difference is in the details. Sourcing, processing and ingredient integrity are all factors that, though often overlooked, have a major impact on the quality of your food. Mary and family, of Mary’s Chickens, pay close attention to those details and the consumer benefits from their commitment to excellence.
The difference, in this case, is that Mary’s chickens are air chilled using a process that has been standard in Europe for over 45 years. Per USDA standards, chickens must be cooled to 4° Celsius within four hours of slaughter in order to curb the growth of harmful bacteria. In the United States, the typical cooling process for chicken is through water immersion. It’s an efficient process if you’re concerned with time, but does have drawbacks.
In immersion cooling, chickens are cooled by multiple dips into massive communal vats of chemically treated (most often chlorinated) cold water. This methodology creates the potential for cross-contamination from bacteria, such as Salmonella, and also zaps the chicken of its natural flavors by diluting it with the retained water—water you pay for when you purchase chicken at the market.
In air chilling, chickens are individually spaced out on conveyor belt racks and cooled by blasts of frigid mist until they reach the required 4° Celsius. The process takes longer, but avoids cross contamination and water retention. The end result? The chicken you serve at your table will be less likely to contain harmful bacteria and yields a perfectly crispy skin, fabulously tender meat and out-of-this-world taste that is lost through immersion cooling.
From Mary’s table and our table to yours—happy eating!