Scalding with unheated water in the first tank of a simulated three-tank scalder was tested to determine whether carcass bacteria, efficiency of feather removal, and cooked breast meat tenderness are affected as compared with carcasses scalded at the same temperature (57 C) in all tanks. This experiment was performed on 3 d using 6-wk-old broilers. On each day, eight birds per treatment were processed. During the first 40-s scalding period, one carcass was placed in approximately 24 C water. The other carcass was placed simultaneously in a scalder unit containing approximately 2,050 L of water at 57 C. Carcasses were then held out of the water for 15 s, after which both were placed for 40 s in opposite ends of the scalder containing water at 57 C. After the second scalding period, both carcasses were again removed from the water for 15 s, followed by another 40 s in the 57 C water. Total scald time was 2 min for each treatment. After picking, carcasses were rinsed with 200 mL of sterile 0.1% peptone water for 1 min. Aerobic bacteria and Escherichia coli were enumerated and incidence of salmonella was determined by standard methods. After rinsing, carcasses were eviscerated by hand and chilled for 30 min in ice slush. All carcasses were scored for the presence of feathers, and the appearance and condition of the skin were noted. Four hours postmortem, breast fillets were removed from carcasses and chilled overnight at 2 C. The next morning, breast fillets were cooked to an internal endpoint temperature of 75 to 80 C. Warner-Bratzler shear values were measured to determine tenderness. No differences were found in numbers of aerobic bacteria and E. coli, incidence of salmonellae, tenderness of cooked breast meat, or number of feathers left on carcasses.