What does "basted" or "self-basted" mean?
Bone-in poultry products that are basted or marinated with a solution containing butter or other
edible fat, broth, stock or water, plus spices, flavor enhancers and other approved substances must
be labeled as "basted" or "self-basted." The maximum added weight of approximately 3% solution before
processing is included in the net weight on the label. Labels must include a statement identifying the
total quantity and common or usual name of all ingredients in the solution.
What does "free range" or "free roaming" mean?
In order to use these terms on a label, producers must demonstrate to the USDA that the poultry have
been allowed access to the outside.
What's the definition of "fresh poultry"?
Turkeys to be sold as "fresh" must be stored at a temperature no lower than 26° F.
What's the definition of "frozen poultry"?
Turkeys sold as "frozen" must be stored at 0° F or below.
What is a "hen" or "tom" turkey?
The gender designation of "hen" (female) or "tom" (male) turkey is optional on the label and is
an indication of size rather than gender.
What defines a "natural" turkey?
Turkey containing no artificial flavor or flavoring, coloring ingredient, chemical preservative,
or any other artificial or synthetic ingredient and is minimally processed (a process that does
not fundamentally alter the product) may be labeled "natural." The label must explain the use of
the term "natural" (e.g., no added colorings or artificial ingredients, minimally processed).
What does the term "no antibiotics" mean?
The term "no antibiotics added" may be used on labels for poultry products if the producer
sufficiently documents to Food Safety Inspection Service that the animals were raised without
What does the term "no hormones" mean?
Hormones are not allowed in raising poultry. Therefore, the claim "no hormones added" cannot
be used on the labels of poultry unless it is followed by a statement that says, "Federal
regulations prohibit the use of hormones."
What makes a product "organic"?
According to the USDA, organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable
resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future
generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that are given
no antibiotics or growth hormones. Before a product can be labeled "organic," a Government-approved
certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the
rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards.
Why did my turkey come without a neck?
All Shady Brook Farms® turkeys should be packed with a neck. We apologize if your
turkey did not come with a neck.
Why did I get multiple necks?
The necks are inserted into the turkey manually, and it seems that more than one was inserted into your turkey.
Why did I receive very little white meat?
A small turkey will have a small breast and/or very little white meat.
Why is white meat white and dark meat dark?
Color can be influenced by the age of the animal, the species, sex, diet, and even the exercise it
gets. The meat from older animals will be darker in color because the myoglobin level increases with
age. Exercised muscles are always darker in color, which means the same animal can have variations of
color in its muscles.
What causes dark bones?
The bones of some young poultry have not calcified or hardened completely, and pigment from the bone marrow seeps
through the bones and into the surrounding area.
What causes pink meat?
Oven gases in heated gas or electric ovens react chemically with hemoglobin in the meat tissue to give it a pink tinge.
How much water is held in a muscle?
Turkey muscles contain approximately 65% water naturally. The various muscles hold different amounts of additional water.
If a turkey is basted, it is always labeled as such on the package.
Why would the turkey's wing be cut off?
If the wing is bruised, it is generally removed.
Why is the turkey still bloody although the timer popped?
The color of the juices at the leg joints is sometimes pink even though it is cooked and safe
to eat. Those joints may only have been heated to 175° F. A temperature of 162° F is required
to be safe to eat, but the red color will not disappear until about 180° F. Our turkey timers
in whole turkeys pop up when the breast is 170° F.
Why are there still feathers on my turkey?
We do our very best to make sure that the turkeys are plucked as clean as possible. Sometimes, especially
if the turkey was processed during cooler weather, the feathers are more difficult to remove.
Does a tom turkey taste different from a hen turkey?
Hens weigh less than 16 lbs. and toms weigh over 16 lbs. Age, not gender, will determine tenderness and
therefore possibly taste.
What does "Grade A" mean?
USDA: Grade A indicates the highest quality and that the poultry is virtually free of defects (such as bruises,
discolorations, feathers), no broken bones, no tears in the skin or exposed flesh, good covering of fat under
the skin, fully fleshed and meaty.