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General

  1. What does "basted" or "self-basted" mean?
  2. What does "free range" or "free roaming" mean?
  3. What's the definition of "fresh poultry"?
  4. What's the definition of "frozen poultry"?
  5. What is a "hen" or "tom" turkey?
  6. What defines a "natural" turkey?
  7. What does the term "no antibiotics" mean?
  8. What does the term "no hormones" mean?
  9. What makes a product "organic"?
  10. Why did my turkey come without a neck?
  11. Why did I get multiple necks?
  12. Why did I receive very little white meat?
  13. Why is white meat white and dark meat dark?
  14. What causes dark bones?
  15. What causes pink meat?
  16. How much water is held in a muscle?
  17. Why would the turkey's wing be cut off?
  18. Why is the turkey still bloody although the timer popped?
  19. Why are there still feathers on my turkey?
  20. Does a tom turkey taste different from a hen turkey?
  21. What does "Grade A" mean?

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.

Source: USDA

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.

Source: USDA

What's the definition of "fresh poultry"?

Turkeys to be sold as "fresh" must be stored at a temperature no lower than 26° F.

Source: USDA

What's the definition of "frozen poultry"?

Turkeys sold as "frozen" must be stored at 0° F or below.

Source: USDA

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.

Source: USDA

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).

Source: USDA

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 antibiotics.

Source: USDA

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."

Source: USDA

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.

Source: USDA

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.

Source: USDA

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.

Source: USDA

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.

Source: http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/turkey/faqs.html

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.

Source: USDA