Dear Valued Customer,
Imagine this headline:
“GERBER CHICKEN GUARANTEED SAFE”
You probably won’t see it in the paper or on the nightly news but we would like to explain why it is true.
Avian influenza is big news and unfortunately the media, at times, is not as concerned with the objective sharing of facts as it is with the creation of a new frenzy or hype to sell newspapers, radio & television time or internet hits. Given the developing coverage of avian influenza outbreaks in several Asian countries and parts of Europe we as the owners of Gerber Poultry, Inc. want to take a few moments to put some facts before you and assure you and your customers of the absolute safety of our products.
For over fifty years our family has supplied the fresh chicken needs of a continually growing regional area. From the first days our father, Dwight Gerber, emphasized his commitment to customers in the quality products he supplied. While the world and industry has changed much over fifty years our emphasis has not. We are committed to supplying you with only the best chicken products. And in light of avian influenza concerns we want to stress that ‘best’ always includes ‘safe’.
Quality management and assurance have always been part of our final product. But such assurance has its beginnings in our state of the art hatchery. The health of the eggs and chicks are a necessary foundation for a quality and safe final product. As such even the eggs supplied to our hatchery must pass the scrutiny of the National Poultry Improvement Program, of which we are a member (approved member assignment #228 NPIP). The eggs enter our company via our hatchery which actually operates under self-directed criteria more rigid than that of the NPIP.
From the hatchery the chicks are moved to one of nearly 100 Amish family farms and placed in specially built grow-out houses. The typical grower house is 400 or 500 feet long and 40 feet wide. It is windowed with screens the entire length with weather control (against hard rain, snow or cold) by louvered curtains. Naturally a building is heated in the winter and ventilated by fans, when necessary, in the warmer months. There is an abundance of natural light, fresh air, water and feed. The feed is all natural corn & soy bean with necessary nutrients. We never add antibiotics, animal or bakery by-products to accelerate growth. The chickens are free to move about, eating and drinking as desired. When the chickens are given, as we give, plenty of free room to move and peck about in a protected, controlled, clean environment; plenty of fresh air; plenty of fresh clean water and wholesome feed, the quality of the chicken can be guaranteed.
And we do guarantee a healthy & safe product. In addition to following the best raising practices we also abide by the NPIP guidelines and test every flock for avian influenza. While this is an expensive process we view it simply as an additional step in our continual guarantee that the chicken we produce is safe and absolutely the best quality chicken on the market.
All of us were involved in our fathers business at young ages. Our father began and we continue to invest in the best practices, technology, continuing education and people to bring to you the best chicken we can produce. We want you to be fully aware and confident that also included in ‘best’ is ‘safe’. Additionally, by following the USDA safe handling guideline, chicken properly handled and cooked thoroughly (we recommend an internal temperature of F165 degrees*) poses absolutely no health concern to the young or old. The chicken we supply to you is safe. This is our commitment to you.
Mike, Sue & Tim Gerber
For more Avian Influenza information