Cover Feature: The Chicken Factory (The Foodie Magazine, June 2014)

One fine morning, we embarked on a journey to find out exactly how the modern chicken slaughterhouse works and truth be told, I was personally curious about how the bountiful supply of chicken nowadays and the efficient way to keep up with the demands. PT Sierad Produce Tbk has an answer to that.

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From Jakarta, we reached the outskirts of Bogor as we ventured through the long and tedious Jalan Raya Parung, which connects Jakarta with Bogor via surface, non-toll roads, and we arrived at the slaughterhouse of PT. Sierad Produce Tbk – one of the key players in the Indonesian chicken market.

Visitors can observe the basic process of chicken slaughtering from the moment they are delivered fresh and healthy from the farms and up until the cleaning process from behind the glass up on the observatory deck. However that day, we had a privilege of coming down right to see the action.

After delivery, the chickens are allowed to rest for 30 minutes, this ensures that their muscles are not tense after being transferred from the farm. This gives time for the staff to examine again the readiness of each chicken in terms of health and weight.

To comply with the international, modern industry and halal standards, Sierad Produce practices halal methods in the slaughtering and efficient technologic application from start to finish, all to ensure that the factory can achieve as many as 60,000 chickens per day to supply the market needs. The slaughtering stage starts from the stunning process, halal slaughtering and up to scalding and defeathering through a clean, effective, and speedy process.

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Next the chicken carcasses are hanged and they go through the evisceration by using different knives for specific purposes and water spraying process – using around 12 litres of water per chicken, again all of this is done to ensure the utmost hygiene. Next, the chickens will go through the most interesting part of all and experience different treatment according to special requests from the clients or for shipping to as far as Papua.

Off we went and armed ourselves with the special attire and went through a biosecurity measure to make sure that we were clean and hygienic before entering the processing plant. Inside the processing sections, the temperature goes down and the rooms are cooled to keep the chicken fresh. Thus the workers have to work in very cold temperatures, sometimes all the way to below 18 degrees Celsius. How exciting it was for us to see the whole cutting and packaging process, not to mention that it was also challenging for us to record the whole thing with our cameras as they got fogged up every time we went through the fluctuating temperatures of different rooms.

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I found out that the most interesting deboning the chicken through manual techniques and simple cutting machinery, then weighing and packing the chicken parts from fillets, wings, thighs, breasts, gizzards, liver, and others. There are also certain stations allocated for special requests from clients like fast food chains, who requested that the chicken should be divided into certain cuts.

Before heading out, we also witnessed how careful all the packaging process was especially for special delivery to Timika in Papua where the chickens are put into a blast freezer to increase the shelf life and guarantee that it is good for transport. The temporary cold storage inside Sierad Produce was designed to achieve until around -15C and thus keeping the chickens ready until duty calls them for delivery. For local deliveries to Belmart around Jabodetabek, they will be kept within -5C to ensure the freshness and to keep the bacteria at bay.

It is important for us to see everything can be so humane and hygienic as the chickens go through a series of halal and highly efficient processes. What also feels good about it is that Sierad Produce maintains a manual and trained workforce instead for a fully mechanized process for the slaughterhouse. Above all also, our little factory visit further enlightens us to really know what we are eating, where it came from, and what steps have the food gone through before reaching us. Bottomline is, Sierad Produce and Belmart emphasizes the need for proper hygiene – from the all the efficient processes, to ensure that what we eat is clean, healthy, safe, and nutritious.

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Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE June 2014 edition

Download it for free here via SCOOP!

Photos by: Rian Farisa

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