Meat Products Sandusky OH

“Air chilled” refers to the method used to cool chickens just after slaughter to prevent bacterial growth. The standard method, used 99 percent of the time in the US, involves soaking the birds in vats of icy, chlorinated water for 20 to 65 minutes. Air-chilled chickens, in contrast, are hung on shackles that pass through cold chambers for several hours.

Target
(419) 609-3340
4020 Milan Rd
Sandusky, OH
Store Hours
M-Fr: 8:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.Sa: 8:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.Su: 8:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.

Sam'S Club
(419) 626-6563
614 Crossings Road
Sandusky, OH
 
Walmart Supercenter
(419) 732-3369
2826 E. Harbor Road
Port Clinton, OH
Store Hours
Mon-Fri:8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sat:8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sun:8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Pharmacy #
(419) 732-3866
Pharmacy Hours
Monday-Friday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm Saturday: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm Sunday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Schilds Iga Supercenter
(419) 668-5156
171 Milan Ave
Norwalk, OH
 
Save-A-Lot
(419) 621-7697
709 W Perkins Ave
Sandusky, OH

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Walmart Supercenter
(419) 627-8778
5500 Milan Road, Suite 200
Sandusky, OH
Store Hours
Mon-Fri:8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sat:8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sun:8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Pharmacy #
(419) 627-8283
Pharmacy Hours
Monday-Friday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm Saturday: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm Sunday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Huron Iga Foodliner
(419) 433-7733
408 E Cleveland Ave
Huron, OH
 
Walmart Supercenter
(419) 663-2212
340 West Wind Drive
Norwalk, OH
Store Hours
Mon-Fri:8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sat:8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sun:8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Pharmacy #
(419) 663-2413
Pharmacy Hours
Monday-Friday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm Saturday: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm Sunday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Gardner Supervalu
(419) 668-9344
117 Whittlesey Rd
Norwalk, OH
 
Tops Friendly Markets
(419) 625-0433
4020 Milan Rd
Sandusky, OH

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Food as Medicine—Air-Chilled Chicken

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By Kristin Bjornsen

Like 007, some people prefer their chicken chilled, not stirred. Indeed, they seem to be flocking to a new type of specialty poultry: air-chilled chickens, which producers say pack more flavor—and fewer pathogens—than conventionally treated chickens.

“Air chilled” refers to the method used to cool chickens just after slaughter to prevent bacterial growth. The standard method, used 99 percent of the time in the US, involves soaking the birds in vats of icy, chlorinated water for 20 to 65 minutes. Air-chilled chickens, in contrast, are hung on shackles that pass through cold chambers for several hours. Due, in part, to the longer cooling time, air-chilled chickens cost about twice as much as the standard variety costs.

Producers of air-chilled poultry, such as Maverick Ranch Natural Meats, Bell & Evans, and D’Artagnan, say their birds taste richer and more “chickeny” than their immersed counterparts, which absorb up to 12 percent of their body weight in water while in the cooling vats. To test the flavor, the Wall Street Journal conducted a blind taste-test comparing four air-chilled birds with two water-chilled. The two voted best tasting were air-chilled, but ironically, the lowest-ranking chicken was air-chilled as well.

Promoters also boast that air-chilled poultry harbors fewer pathogens than immersed ones. At first glance, a 2002 study at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln supports this. The study found significantly fewer cases of salmonella contamination in air-chilled chickens than in immersed ones—a 19 percent contamination rate versus 25 percent. (Although those numbers sound alarming, the USDA actually allows 20 percent of birds from a slaughterhouse to test positive.) The difference in contamination rates stems, theoretically, from the use of the same liquid for multiple birds. A caveat exists, however: Even though a greater number of water-chilled birds test positive, each bird carries fewer bacterial cells, probably because the water dilutes the number of colonies.

What does this mean for chicken eaters? Well, if 50 in 100 water-chilled birds have bacterial concentrations of five to 10 colonies as opposed to one in 100 air-chilled birds having 1,000 colonies, “you may have more of a chance of getting sick if you get that one ‘lucky’ bird,” says Marcos Sánchez, PhD, the study’s lead researcher. In other words, “The health risks are about the same between immersed and air-chilled.”

But there’s one more possible problem with immersion. The chlorinated water may select for more resistant bacteria, allowing “super bugs” to pass through to the supermarket. Controlling for pathogens ends in the kitchen—always wash your hands after handling raw chicken and cook it thoroughly.

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