Air Chilled

 

The Bell & Evans Air Chill System

It all started with a dream.

Thirty years ago Scott Sechler, owner of Bell & Evans, had a vision of a processing plant that would set the standard for all chicken production facilities. Those years were well spent. He traveled the world visiting poultry plants and asking questions. Driven by his vision to produce the best chicken possible, Scott and his team incorporated the latest technologies, coupled with the best equipment, realizing his lifelong dream.

A unique facility like no other in the world.

Working hand in hand with Meyn, Holland's foremost designer of poultry processing equipment, our facilityis their state of the art showplace for the world. This soolidly-engineered structure, with tile walls and brick floors, raises the bar for quality, cleanliness and employee safety, while providing a colorful, friendly work environment. At the center of the masterpiece of ingenuity... The Bell & Evans Air Chill System.

 

How our system works.

Our system consists of three different cooling chambers; each is closely monitored to maintain a specific temperature and humidity during the process.  To assure proper chilling, the birds traverse almost two miles of track, taking them over 2 hours and 45 minutes to move through the system.  Unlike other Air Chill chambers, ours has a unique, single level chilling line that prevents cross contamination from birds on higher tracks dripping onto those underneath.

This slow chill process is also more effective in tenderizing the meat.  Since our chickens do not depend on ice water for chilling, the chicken's natural juices are not diluted in, or replaced by the water in a conventional water chiller.  While in these conventional chillers, chickens may absorb 7 to 8% of their body weight in added water - and that water may contain chlorine. (Chlorine is added to conventional chillers to inhibit bacterial growth.)  This water "weeps" out of the meat and is trapped in the "diaper" you find in fresh chicken packaging.

Our birds come out of the Air Chill System with an internal temperature under 35ºF without freezing.  With more tender meat and a great symmetrical shape, our Air Chill System gives you a cleaner, better tasting chicken.

Individually Graded

Our chickens are individually graded. At Bell & Evans, in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, we've held onto our old-fashioned ideals about quality. We process our chickens in a modern, USDA-inspected plant, using only the latest technology. And, we're not only meeting, but exceeding government requirements for food safety with our HACCP (Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points) program. 
 

Established standards of excellence

Every one of our air-chilled chickens passes in front of a visual inspection station where each is photographically-scanned, front and back. Using that information, the bird is computer-graded, according to a stringent set of criteria, for appearance, quality and weight. It then is directed to the appropriate line to be cut into parts, de-boned or left whole.

 

The best of the best.

Only one in every five chickens we raise the very best of the best earns an "A", is packaged as a whole bird, and gets to wear the  Bell & Evans wing tag.

 

Those chickens not selected to wear our tag, while still exceptional, are cut up, sorted and hand-graded by specialized Bell & Evans personnel.