All of the pheasant meat we sell is USDA certified. This certification assures our customers that our white pheasant meat is top quality from the cutting board to your table. We thought you might enjoy reading about the processes we follow to prepare our pheasant products for the stores, restaurants, and individuals who buy them.
1. Live birds are taken to Twin Cities Pack in Clinton,Wisconsin, very early in the morning, on days we process. They are picked up in the afternoon by our refrigerated truck. The best part is that they come back fully cleaned, dressed and chilled down to 40 degrees. We have a refrigerated reefer truck with a lift gate that makes picking up the birds a very easy process. When they arrive back to our dock, they are quickly unloaded with an electric pallet jack and placed into our cooler, where they spend the night.
2. The next morning the pallets are wheeled into our processing room. Our first step is to sort the birds by weight. There are signs posted on the wall above tables with totes on them. The birds are then sorted by weight class into the totes. Most totes get 20 birds. Before we begin processing different products, we reconcile our count against the processing plant’s count.
3. Many of our birds are simply left whole and bagged as whole birds. This is our most popular product. Depending on the upcoming orders, we begin cutting birds into breast meat products such as split air,whole air, and boneless breast. We also cut the legs and thighs to produce boneless leg and thigh meat. Once the products are cut, packaged, and vacuum sealed, they are placed in a basket called a chill tote. It is a rectangular plastic woven basket that allows air to circulate around the product when it is placed in the freezer. This ensures that all parts of the products freeze solidly.Chill totes are packed approximately ten high on the pallets so that they can be easily handled.
4. The pallets are then wheeled into a freezer in the shipping area. The temperature in our freezer is maintained at 0 degrees at all times. It typically takes about 24 hours for all the products to freeze solidly.
5. Once the products are frozen thoroughly, they are ready to be packed. All products- whole birds, breast meat, etc. are packed into the same cardboard box. The box is white with a black MacFarlane logo on it. Each box has a plastic barrier bag liner installed before the meat is packed into it. It also has a USDA stamp on the box. Once the meat is packed,we weigh it and enter it into our inventory system. The scale is able to printout a UPC label that is attached to the outside of the box. It displays the weight, contents, and quantity. Then we put everything back on pallets and return it to the freezer until it is time to ship.
6. When we get orders for a product, the product is retrieved from the freezer and scanned out of the inventory. Our shipping boxes are lined with custom cut Styrofoam inserts and a plastic bag liner. After the product is packaged, we add frozen gel ice packs and sometimes dry ice. All seams are taped thoroughly to keep the cold in. The boxes are returned to the freezer until they are picked up by the carrier. We also ship very large orders via an LTL carrier. With these orders, we shrink wrap an entire pallet and put it in the back of a refrigerated reefer semi for delivery.
That, my friends, is how our top quality white pheasant meat moves from our cutting board to your table! Please enjoy reading the featured recipes on our pheasantfordinner blog.