Monday, January 14, 2008

Chicken with the hairs

A few weeks ago my office was given free lunch from Dougies, sponsered by one of the vendors often used by my company. It was one of those holiday appreciation things. My company is owned by frum people (in case you were wondering why it was kosher), and the amount of food Dougies gives is ridiculous. They gave us wings, wraps, fries, salads, cole slaw, and sweet potato baked chips.

Even though alot of the company is comprised of frum people, there are still plenty of goyim employed by the company. And because the kosher wings, tend to have feathers on them, one of the girls freaked out, and couldn't eat them. She made just about everyone in the room laugh when she declared "I can't eat the chicken with the hairs!" I found that most amusing, since I actually became frum, because of issues I had with treif food (after reading a portion of The Jungle by Upton Sinclair). I tried to explain to her that kosher chicken has "hairs" because after the chicken is shected, it isn't thrown into boiling water (so the feathers come off), but actually undergoes a healthier cleaning process. For example, Kosher chicken cannot be boiled once it is killed, because that would mean it boils in its own blood, and would then mean that the diseases (if any) the chicken has, would remain in the chicken, and would not be cleaned out. With kashrus, though the "hairs" remian, the chicken is soaked and salted, which actually kills the diseases. Not only that, since the slaughter process of treif chicken, is commercialized, the chickens are boiled all TOGETHER after they are killed. Therefore, if just ONE chicken has a disease, its blood is cooked with all the rest.

So anyway, if any of you are at an office party (or at a business meeting)serving kosher food, you can give this explaination to you fellow goy. However, it may not be worth the explaining. I just found it amusing how she said chicken had hairs. And so did many of my fellow work "buddies". :)


Jessica said...

Never knew why there were "hairs" on the chicken... guess ya learn something new everyday.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

that's what happens when you start out eating non-kosher food (you apreciate kosher food making processes more...)

Lubab No More said...

> the chicken is soaked and salted, which actually kills the diseases.

This is a common myth but is actually untrue. The USDA talks about it on their website:

Callers to the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline sometimes ask about soaking poultry in salt water. This is a personal preference and serves no purpose for food safety. - emphasis added

See link for the whole story:

ProfK said...

CDC and NIH disagree lubab. Some food bacteria are salt sensitive. Some may not die but they cannot multiply either. "High salt, high sugar or high acid levels keep bacteria from growing, which is why salted meats, jam, and pickled vegetables are traditional preserved foods."

Lubab No More said...


OFS was saying that salting the meat "kills the diseases". CDC is just saying salt works as a preservative. Which is true. It preserves the food as well as the bacteria. Like you said "[s]ome may not die but they cannot multiply either." Salt keeps the whole package in stasis. The bottom line is, the kosher salting process is not a good way to make the meat safe for consumption.

The best way to make sure chicken is safe to eat is to cook it until all of its parts reach at least 160 F.

Frum Librarian said...

I understand the why kosher chickens are sold with fethers, but I remove them in my home! I think Dougie's could do the same...

frumskeptic said...

Lubab: Your source makes perfect sense. However they're not talkign about soaking the kosher way. I believe halachically the meat has to be soaked within 36 hours.
The consumers that call the USDA and such, have the meat that was already processed, and cooked in its blood,so therefore, soaking would definitly not help.
Also, I heard the soaking(while the meat is still fresh, within the 36 hours), is what removes the majority of the blood, which is where the disease is. Even if the disease doesn't die, it is removed from the chicken, or atleast most of it, therefore definitly making it healthier than having it boiled right away.

Lubab No More said...

> I heard the soaking... removes the majority of the blood, which is where the disease is.

I have read this elsewhere and it makes sense. It's a good point. Of course, if you cook/bake the chicken properly there's no worry of bacteria of any kind.