Q: Do you use chemicals in your processing?
A: We do not use harsh chemicals to process our birds. We do use Clorox Germicidal Bleach to sanitize work surfaces after scrubbing with Dawn dish soap. We also use Hotsy’s Carbochlor to clean walls and equipment. These substances are approved for use in food processing facilities and all surfaces are always rinsed thoroughly with potable water before contact with birds.
Q: Is Chlorine used in your processing or water baths?
A: We do use chlorine as a food contact surface sanitizer and it is rinsed away. We do not use chlorine in any of our water baths. In fact the City of New Plymouth, from which we get our water supply, rarely uses chlorine. When it does, it uses it only to “shock” the water system if the need arises during the hot summer months.
Q: Since you don’t use Chlorine, what do you use to eliminate harmful microorganisms?
A: We use a natural acid product called, Chicxide. This product is made with only two ingredients: citric acid & lactic acid. These acids are produced naturally, without the use of GMOs, and are USDA approved for use in organic products. The acids work together by causing intracellular acidification, i.e., loss of homeostasis, in bacteria.
Q: Do you use large vats to cool chickens?
A: No. We believe in working with small lots of birds to ensure proper care is given to each bird. Our cooling tubs hold no more than 100 birds at a time, and are cooled with ice made right here, in plant. In addition to this, we don’t use chlorine in our cooling tubs—our anti-microbial Chicxide application provides ample microbial protection.
Q: Do my birds get mixed with other birds?
A: No. We keep each lot separate from all other lots.
Q: Can I watch you/have a tour?
A: Yes. Feel free to come through our East or West entrances and watch us process from the hallway. Though we don’t currently schedule official tours, like for a school, we will gladly show you around in places that we aren’t operating in. However only employees are allowed in processing & slaughter areas during operation.
Q: Do you do Cut-Ups?
A: Yes we do. We can do most any standard poultry cut. Wings, thighs, drumsticks, whole legs, breasts bone in, boneless skinless breasts, backs(or soup bones) and even butterflied birds. Just tell us what you want and we’ll get it done.
Q: Do you save Giblets?
A: Yes we do. If you request it we can save: hearts, necks, livers, gizzards, & even feet.
Q: How will my birds be packaged?
A: Unless otherwise requested, all whole birds are shrink-wrapped. Half birds may also be shrink-wrapped. Cut-ups are put on trays with an absorbent pad and vacuum sealed.
Q: Do you process Roosters or Old Laying Hens?
A: Yes. However they are 50¢s more a bird.
Q: How long should I Withdraw Feed from my birds?
A: We recommend 8 to 12 hours of feed withdrawal. The closer to 8 the better. Anything under 8 hours and the birds may still have food in the crop and intestines. Anything over 12 hours and the intestines become weaker and more likely to break during evisceration.
Q: What makes USDA Inspection important?
A: This ensures a watchful eye each step of the way. Being under continual inspection requires that all birds are individually reviewed for health and quality by a USDA official.
Q: How do I benefit from USDA Inspection?
A: USDA inspection is the national standard for all slaughtered meats. USDA inspected meat not only allows you to sell your product across state lines but gives you the same food safety, credibility that large producers enjoy. Plus having it processed with us gives you the peace of mind in knowing that we don’t cut corners like some large producers do.
Q: Why did a few of my birds come back missing limbs?
A: To maintain USDA quality standards, any bruises, broken bones, or dislocated bones must be removed. To help minimize bruising, load birds in poultry crates where they cannot stand fully upright and where there isn’t a lot of excess room to spread their wings. When their crate is moved birds will tend to throw a wing out for balance. This can cause bruising, especially in meat birds.
Labelling & Organic Questions
Q: Can I use my own labels?
A: Yes, however, many labels must be submitted to and be approved by the USDA. The options are as follows:
- Plant Generic Label:
(Does not require USDA approval) We provide generic labels that bear the name of the cut(e.g., whole young chicken, drumsticks), safe handling instructions, weight, the date packaged, and J-Bar’s name and address.
- Plant Generic Label modified for you:
(Does not require USDA approval) We can also provide a generic label in like kind as per the above specifications with your farm’s name, contact info, address and even a simple logo. This involves a one-time scale programming fee.
- Outside Label in addition to Plant Generic Label—Facts:
(Does not require USDA approval) You can provide your own label in addition to our generic label. It can include your images and logos and factual information. Be sure to send us the label before bringing in your birds just in case it contains a special claim which would require USDA approval. Facts you can include are:
- Green or Environmental Claims(e.g., BPA Free packaging, Made with recycled materials, Made with soy ink. i.e., Environmental product claims are allowed, environmental raising claims need be approved)
- Uncertified Halal or Kosher claims
- Hand pulled or hand pinched style
- Handcrafted, handmade, hand slaughtered, or hand crafted style
- Home Style
- For HRI only(Hotel, Restaurant, & Institution), Institutional use only
- Nutrition Claims (defined)
- Ready in or Cooks in (number of minutes or seconds)
- Oven roasted or similar statements
- All, 100%, pure
- Allergen or “Contains (name of ingredient)” statements (e.g., contains soy)
- AMS Grading (Prime, choice, grade A)
- Child Nutrition Boxes
- Flavor Profiles (e.g., made with fennel, teriyaki flavored, made with real cheese, only white meat)
- Foreign Language on domestic products
- Geographic claims with style definition (such as Lebanon style bologna, or Genoa style salami, must include, “style.”).
- However it may not include any special claims—see next option.
- Outside Label in addition to generic—Special Claims:
(Does require USDA approval) You can provide your own label in addition to our generic label. If it includes any special claims we need to submit it to the USDA for approval. This may take as little as 10 days or as much as 6 weeks, so please plan ahead if you wish to use labels with special claims. Special Claims are claims made about your product that require certification or a signature along with proof that these claims are true. Such claims may include:
- Allergen Warning Statements(e.g., may contain soy)
- Animal Production/Breed/Raising claims(e.g., without anti-biotics/Red Ranger Breed/vegetarian fed)
- Certified/Verified claims
- Environmentally raised or raised Green claims
- Export Only Labels w/deviations from Domestic Requirements
- Foreign Language on non-domestic products
- Geographic claims without style definition (e.g., Lebanon Bologna)
- Natural/Organic claims
- Nutrition or Health claims
- Religious Exemptions.
PLEASE NOTE: All claims must be approved by USDA and this process can take up to 6 weeks. Contact us as soon as possible if you have any questions about labels. Please don’t print any labels without prior approval from us.
Q: Can you process my Organic Birds?
A: Yes we can. We will need your organic certification beforehand and a signed affidavit upon your arrival. Please specify “organic” when you are booking your dates.
Scheduling, Drop off, & Pick-up Questions
Q: Do I need an appointment or can I just bring my birds?
A: You need an appointment! Please do not show up with a load of birds, we will not process them! It is best if you schedule your appointment as far in advance as possible. Please don’t expect that we can process your birds on short notice, as we are extremely busy.
Q: Do you have crates I can borrow to bring my birds in?
A: Yes we do. Be sure to mention that you’ll need to borrow them. Our supply is limited so scheduling your time to pick them up is important.
Q: Can I pick my birds up next week?
A: Birds will often be available for pick-up on Fridays or Mondays. The specific day will be arranged when scheduling for slaughter. Please be aware that we will charge a fee for holding any of your birds that are held on our premises beyond the agreed pick-up day. Unless the delay is caused by an error on our part.
Q: Do you supply ice for my birds to be kept cold when I pick them up?
A: We rarely supply ice for transportation as we use most of what we produce. However your birds will be quite cold when you receive them and remain stable if you bring coolers to transport them.
Q: How do I become a producer of poultry for J-Bar Poultry Processing, LLC?
A: We only take a limited number of producers that sell under our J-Bar brand. You must meet several requirements to qualify. Among other things the two biggest factors are pasture raised poultry with an organic certification for your farm and raising practices. Please contact Josiah to out if we are currently taking producers and what other specification are required.