Lesley Christensen-Yule, Chef
From the farm to the freezer: Reasons why you can be sure that Crozier's Turkeys are safe to eat.
The Croziers use a Risk Management Program (RMP)
This is a Certified Food Safety Programme which ensures that every stage of the turkey production is assessed for food safety risks. Controls are put in place throughout processing and these are regularly checked by independent Food Safety Officers.
Crozier's Turkeys live outside and roam freely (free-range)
This means they are not subject to the rapid spread of disease that can occur when birds are reared closely together in larger commercial operations. The birds are regularly inspected for sign of disease. The harsh Canterbury frosts are effective in killing many harmful micro-organisms that might be present in the outdoor environment.
The Croziers practice crop rotation
This traditional farming practice keeps the soil healthy without depleting the necessary nutrients and micro-organisms of the earth. This keeps the environment healthier for turkey growth and development.
Crozier's Turkeys are processed by hand
Unlike large commercial operations, the risk of cross-contamination is reduced when processed by hand. When an item of machinery is contaminated in a large-scale manufacturing process, the contamination is quickly passed onto other birds in the production line.
Crozier's Turkeys are dipped into ozonated water during processing
This ensures that if there are any harmful micro organisms present, they are killed on contact.
Crozier's Turkeys are snap-frozen soon after processing.
This means that micro-organisms are not given the chance to infect or grow in the freshly processed turkey. Also the quick freezing process ensures that the moisture in the meat cells freezes as very small particles. This is important when the meat is thawed as very little moisture is lost from the meat. In contrast, meat that is frozen slowly develops large ice particles that break cell walls and allow moisture to escape when the meat is thawed.
Why are Crozier's Turkeys only available frozen?
When raised in a natural environment, turkey is a seasonal product. In order to supply year-round fresh turkey, some producers grow their turkeys in artificial environments, controlling and extending their breeding cycles. The Croziers prefer to stick to traditional methods, allowing their turkeys to breed in season and to hatch over the summer months. This means that turkeys required for Christmas must be processed at the beginning of the year (end of the New Zealand summer). In New Zealand turkeys are most in demand at Christmas time.
All turkeys leaving the Crozier farm have reached the same high standard of quality. Kept frozen, their quality is maintained. There is no significant difference in quality between a fresh turkey and a snap-frozen one.
Crozier's Turkeys are packaged in shrink-wrap
Shrink wrapping (vacuum packaging) ensures that air is forced out of the packaging which then clings closely to the turkey so that there is no room for ice or cold air to cause freezer burn, a drying out of the flesh that leaves patches of stringy coarse meat.