Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/164

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The handling of poultry for cold storage is not as well regulated as that of meat. A large amount of poultry is killed on the farm, instead of at the packing house. From the farm it may be shipped by two methods, the "wet" and the "dry." If shipped "wet," the poultry is packed in ice and the skin becomes wet and softened, so that bacteria can penetrate readily. If shipped in modern refrigerator cars, which are recharged with ice every day, the poultry remains "dry" and arrives at the cold storage warehouse in good condition. Poultry is frozen either with the entrails (undrawn poultry) or after the entrails have been removed (drawn poultry). Formerly it was thought that the presence of the entrails had an injurious effect upon the keeping qualities and in some places ordinances have been framed prohibiting the shipment of undrawn poultry. Recent investigations have shown conclusively that undrawn poultry keeps in better shape than poultry drawn in the ordinary fashion. The fundamental cause for the difference in keeping qualities of drawn and undrawn poultry is the presence of bacteria in large numbers in the entrails. In the ordinary process of drawing, of which there are different methods, the membranes of the body cavity can not escape injury and bacteria invade the muscles. The membrane remains intact if poultry is not drawn, or drawn carefully. For practical purposes it is no doubt preferable to allow the entrails to remain until the poultry is prepared for consumption. Recently poultry has been frozen in paraffined pasteboard boxes, which are delivered to the consumer in a sealed condition and with proper directions for thawing. Frozen poultry should be thawed slowly in a house refrigerator, which process requires about two days.

The handling of fish for cold storage is surrounded with difficulties. Fish is not part of our daily diet as meat is, but is consumed largely on one day of the week. The fisherman may have a large haul or a small haul. If large, there will be surplus to be disposed of. A number of fish are frozen together, forming cakes of about 20 pounds each. The cakes are piled up on top of each other in a cold storage warehouse. The ice hermetically seals the fish, but every well regulated cold storage warehouse has some provision for ventilation and the moving air takes up the evaporating ice from the free parts of the cakes containing the frozen fish. The heads become exposed and are recovered with ice by periodical sprinkling and dipping. This requires considerable attention on the part of the warehouse man, but if properly carried out will preserve fish for long periods. Thus waste is prevented and the market kept supplied.