Chilling of the carcasses or poultry parts can occur in three different ways:
• Air chilling; carcasses pass through a room where during more than one hour a continuous stream of cold air (0-2°C ; 32-36 °F) is blown in (1m/s)
• Spray chilling; carcasses pass a room where during a certain period a continuous stream of cold air in combination with water spraying (>1°C ; 34 °F) is blown in
• Water chilling (also called “spin”-chilling or immersion chilling); carcasses are immersed in a large water reservoir, using the counter current principle (water temperature inlet: 4°C-39 °F outlet:16°C-61 °F) during a certain period.
• Many different combinations of air and water cooling (time/temperature)
After chilling condensation should be avoided since presence of water may improve the habitat for spoilage-bacteria (e.g. Pseudomonas and Listeria spp) and also may cause cross contamination with potentially pathogenic bacteria.
The final mean temperature of poultry carcasses should be less than 4°C; or 39°F, and this temperature should be maintained throughout the packing, storage and distribution.
Food safety issues: Growth of bacteria if chilling is not properly accomplished