What are the differences between inspection
To learn more, go to http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Inspection_&_Grading/index.asp.
What's the best way to store eggs?
The best place for an egg is in its carton
on an inside refrigerator shelf. The carton's
sponginess insulates the egg from jolts
which can cause cracks. The carton also
helps to prevent the loss of moisture
and carbon dioxide to maintain quality,
maintain the proper egg temperature, and
keep the egg from absorbing undesirable
refrigerator odors and food flavors.
What is the maximum storage temperature
under which eggs should be stored?
45 degree Fahrenheit
Where can I find information on organic
Eggs that are labeled organic and have
the U.S. Department of Agriculture organic
seal on the carton were produced following
the USDA National Organic Program standards.
To learn more, go to www.ams.usda.gov/nop.
What are free-range eggs?
Free-range eggs are from hens that live
outdoors or have access to the outdoors.
Modifications for seasonal variations
are acceptable. The nutrient content of
eggs from free-range hens is the same
as those from hens housed in production
facilities with cages.
Do egg laying hens receive hormones?
Egg laying hens are not given hormones.
Some egg cartons say that the eggs are
hormone free; however, this is true for
all eggs in commercial egg production
in the United States.
What does antibiotic free mean?
Antibiotic-free claims on egg cartons can be only be made by egg producers who choose not to use any antibiotics in feed or water during the growing period of pullets or while hens are laying eggs. Flocks producing certified organic eggs must be antibiotic free by regulation. Flocks producing conventional eggs may use FDA approved antibiotics and must comply with FDA levels of use and other restrictions. FDA regulations assure that antibiotic residues do not occur in the egg itself. Eggs from hens treated with antibiotics cannot be classified as antibiotic-free, but the eggs themselves do not contain antibiotic residues. The list of antibiotics allowed by FDA for use in egg laying flocks is quite small, only three. Also, it is estimated that only a small percentage of laying flocks producing conventional eggs ever receive antibiotics due to use of effective vaccines and other management practices which minimize the need for antibiotics to treat illness. If any egg laying flock does receive an antibiotic, it is usually under the supervision of a veterinarian and only for a short period of time to treat a specific disease outbreak or for prevention of a recurring disease on that farm.
What does Grade A mean?
Eggs are graded based on their quality
and appearance. Grade AA eggs have thick,
firm whites and high, round yolks. Their
shells are clean and unbroken. Grade A
eggs are like Grade AA, but their whites
are "reasonably" firm. Grade A eggs
are usually sold in stores. Grade B eggs
have thin whites and wider yolks. The
shells are unbroken, but might show slight
How are eggs packed?
An egg is placed in the carton with the
large end up. This helps keep the air
cell in place and the yolk centered. During
the packing process, eggs are separated
by size. The minimum weights per dozen
are: Jumbo (30 ounces); Extra Large (27
ounces); Large (24 ounces); Medium (21
ounces); Small (18 ounces); and Pee Wee
How do you tell if an egg is hard-cooked
Are the eggs I buy at my local supermarket
The eggs sold at grocery stores are unfertilized
eggs. The hens that lay these eggs will never
see a rooster in their lifetime. Fertilized
eggs are not common although they are available
at some specialty stores.
Spin it! If the egg spins easily, it
is hard-cooked. If the egg wobbles, it is
Where can I find information on egg
Try the Egg Nutrition Center. Go here to
view the Web site.
How many eggs does a hen lay in a year?
The average number of eggs laid by a
hen in a year is 259. A hen starts
laying eggs at 19 weeks of age. As
a hen grows older, she produces larger
Is there a difference in quality between
fresh and frozen poultry?
Both fresh and frozen poultry are inspected
by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's
Food Safety and Inspection Service. The
quality is the same. It is personal preference
whether you buy fresh or frozen poultry.
How long can chicken remain in the freezer?
If properly packaged, frozen chicken
should maintain top quality in a home
freezer for up to one year.
Are hormones used in the production of
No hormones are used in U.S. chicken
production. The Food and Drug Administration
strictly prohibits the use of hormones in
broiler-fryers. Nor are additives allowed
on fresh chicken. If the chicken is processed,
however, additives such as salt or sodium
erythorbate may be added, but must be listed
on the product label.
What are some safe handling and cooking practices when working with poultry?
Consumers should follow safety and handling guideline package instructions for raw poultry, as well as follow these steps when handling or cooking raw poultry.
- Do not rinse raw poultry in your sink, as it can spread raw juices around. Bacteria in raw meat and poultry can only be killed when cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165°F, as measured by a meat thermometer.
- Refrigerate raw poultry promptly. Never leave it on countertop at room temperature.
- Packaged, fresh poultry may be refrigerated in its original packaging in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
- Freeze uncooked poultry if it is not to be used within two days.
- Thaw poultry in the refrigerator, not on the countertop or in cold water.
- Keep raw meat and poultry separate from other foods.
- Wash hands, kitchen work surfaces, cutting boards, knives and other utensils used in preparing raw chicken with soap and hot water before they come in contact with other raw meat or poultry, including frozen and fresh products. Hands should be washed before and after handling food, as well as when handling different food items.
- Keep hot foods hot; refrigerate leftovers no more than two hours after cooking.
What is the best way to thaw chicken
Always thaw chicken in the refrigerator
or microwave, never on the kitchen counter
or picnic table. Always keep uncooked
meat refrigerated until it is to be placed
on the grill or place meat in an insulated
cooler near the grill, out of direct
How can I speed up the time it takes
to grill chicken?
Chicken can be partially cooked in the
microwave before being placed on the
grill. Partially cooked chicken should
be grilled immediately.
How do I keep chicken from sticking
to the grill?
Coat the grids on the grill with vegetable
cooking spray or brush them with cooking
oil. Apply tomato-based sauces or those
containing fruit, sugar or other sweetners
during the last 20-30 minutes of grilling
to prevent over-browning.
How do I get the most flavorful grilled
To avoid loss of juices, use only long-handled
tongs for turning chickens, not a fork.
For a smoked flavor when cooking on a
covered grill, add water-soaked chips
of wood (black walnut, pecan, hickory,
peach or pear). Avoid cedar, spruce,
pine, and fir because they give a bitter
What temperature should my chicken reach
on the grill?
Use a meat thermometer for the most accurate
reading. The internal temperature should
reach 180° F for whole chicken or parts
with bones. Boneless parts should reach
160° F. When in doubt, remove the chicken
to a plate and cut with a knife to make
sure all flesh is opaque throughout.
litter does a chicken produce?
During the typical 47-day growout period,
the typical broiler chicken will generate
approximately two pounds of litter (manure
mixed with wood shavings or similiar materials).
This translates to about .7 ounce a day
per bird, although that will vary considerably
over the life of the bird. Please note
that this generation rate is for litter.
Actual manure generation will be lower
because it is only a fractional component
What does the "fresh" rule mean to consumers?
Go to http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Poultry_Label_Says_Fresh/index.asp for
What is the liquid I sometimes see in
the bottom of the chicken tray?
Many people think the pink liquid in
packaged fresh chicken is blood, but
it is mostly water which was absorbed
by the chicken during the chilling process.
Blood is removed from poultry during
slaughter and only a small amount remains
in the muscle tissue. An improperly bled
chicken would have cherry red skin and
be condemned at the plant.
How do I get into the poultry business?
Try contacting your local county extension
agent or the poultry science department
at the state university for information
and publications. Select this link to
obtain a list of contacts at the universities.
Are artificial color additives permitted
in chicken feed?
No. The yolk's color depends on the hen's
diet. Hens that eat feed containing yellow
corn or alfalfa produce medium yellow
yolks. Hens that eat feed containing
wheat or barley produce lighter color
yolks. Natural yellow-orange substances
such as marigold petals may be added
to light colored feeds to enhance the
addition to eatchicken.com and eatturkey.com,
there are numerous Web sites that incorporate
for a sample
Where can I find statistics on poultry
and egg production?
Go to the U.S.
Department of Agriculture Economic Research
Service Web site.
What is a broiler?
A broiler is a young chicken raised for
meat and meat products. Broilers weigh
four to five pounds. Broilers are considered
mature at 42 to 49 days old. The terms
broiler and fryer are sometimes used
What is a roaster?
A roaster is a slightly older, slightly
larger bird raised to be sold for pan-roasting
What does "processed" mean?
Processed chicken or turkey products
are those that have been cooked, marinated,
ground, deboned or otherwise altered
to change their form or texture and/or
add convenience for consumers.
Can turkeys fly?
Domesticated turkeys cannot fly; however,
wild turkeys can fly for short distances
up to 55 miles per hour. Wild turkeys
can also run 20 miles per hour.
How much turkey is consumed at Thanksgiving?
In 2011, more than 248.5 million turkeys were raised. More than 219 million were consumed in the United States. We estimate that 46 million of those turkeys were eaten at Thanksgiving, 22 million at Christmas and 19 million at Easter.
How long can you store leftover turkey
dishes in the refrigerator?
Cooked turkey should not be stored more
than three or four days. Stuffing and
gravy should not be left in the refrigerator
more than one or two days. Other cooked
turkey dishes can remain in the refrigerator
for three or four days.
Did you know these fun Thanksgiving
- Only tom turkeys gobble.
- Hen turkeys make a clicking noise.
- Domesticated turkeys cannot fly.
- June is National Turkey Lovers' Month
- Moon Food: When Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin sat down to eat their first meal on the moon, their foil food packets contained roasted turkey and all of the trimmings.
- One in four Americans breaks their
diets on Thanksgiving.
- Benjamin Franklin wanted to make
the wild turkey the national bird of
the United States.
- On a quiet night, you can hear a
turkey gobbling from a mile away.
- Thanksgiving was celebrated on the
last Thursday of November until 1941
when President Roosevelt signed the
bill to move it ahead one week.
- Israel has
the highest consumption of turkey
per capita at 26 lbs per year while
Americans consume 16.9 lbs per year.
(turkey/duck/chicken) is a version
of the classic turkey with duck and
chicken layered inside.
- 88% of Americans
eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day.
- New York was the first state to celebrate