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All U.S. poultry meat offered for export is inspected and approved by the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA is regarded as the highest authority on food inspection in the world. A USDA stamp signifies that a poultry product is of the highest quality and eligible for export.
U.S. poultry processing plants are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized for an entire eight-hour shift, everyday. All plants are inspected for cleanliness before operations begin, and are washed during and after operations.
Like all fresh foods, poultry carry a natural microflora that may contain organisms potentially harmful to humans. Food safety is a top concern to the U.S. poultry industry, and companies work hard and spend millions of dollars each year to improve the safety of their products. In addition, proper handling, cooking and storage is essential to maximizing food safety.
All U.S. produced chickens and turkeys are hormone-free. No artificial or added hormones are allowed by the U.S. government in the production of U.S. poultry. Steroids are similarly banned. Therefore, hormone-free isn't a necessary label to use, because all U.S. poultry is natural and without hormones.
"Free range" indicates a production unit where chickens are allowed to forage in an outdoor area in search of insects and other types of "range" food. There is, however, no official federal government definition of "free range" and the USDA approves label claims on a case-by-case basis.
Each package of fresh chicken, for example, carries a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) safe handling and cooking message. Poultry, like all fresh meats, are perishable and should be handled with care to maintain top quality. To maximize food quality and safety, follow these tips: 1. Put fresh poultry and eggs in your shopping basket last, just before you leave the store. 2. Refrigerate immediately upon reaching home, never leave poultry out at room temperature.
Fresh poultry may be stored in the refrigerator for one to two days and in the freezer for six to nine months; cooked poultry may remain in the refrigerator for three to four days and in the freezer for four months.
Store eggs in their carton because eggs can absorb refrigerator odors.
Fresh shell eggs can be kept refrigerated in their carton for up to 12 weeks beyond the pack date. Quality losses should be insignificant if the eggs are refrigerated as soon as possible after purchase from refrigerated case. Hard cooked eggs can be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week.
The risk of food poisoning from eggs is highest with raw and lightly-cooked dishes. It's best not to serve raw or lightly-cooked dishes made with eggs.
No. Shell color is determined by the breed of hen and is not related to quality, nutrients, flavor or cooking characteristics. Since brown egg-layers are slightly larger birds and require more food, brown eggs are usually more expensive than white.