Product Handling & Safety
Frequent questions about rinsing and washing, storage of raw products, and food safety
No, we do not recommend washing raw poultry before cooking. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) says it’s a best food safety practice NOT to wash raw poultry. It conducted a study in 2019 which found that individuals put themselves at unnecessary risk when washing poultry, because bacteria is easily spread to sink, prep areas, and other foods during the process.
STORAGE OF RAW PRODUCTS
How should I store fresh, raw chicken products?
- Packaged, raw chicken can be refrigerated in its original wrapping in the coldest part of the refrigerator according to the “use by” date on the weight/price label.
- If raw products will not be used by the date found on the weight/price label, it’s best to freeze them to maintain integrity and wholesomeness.
How should I freeze my fresh, raw, chicken products to prevent freezer burn and for later convenience?
- Products purchased in trays can be frozen “as is” if they won’t be used right away.
- Some of our products come conveniently packaged with a perforated, tear away packages. This provides consumers an opportunity to use what they need today and easily freeze what they’ll use later.
To prepare chicken, wash hands with soap and hot water before handling raw chicken, and then again after handling chicken, before touching anything else.
To ensure chicken is safe to eat, it’s very important to cook all chicken products thoroughly, according to package instructions. The United Stated Department of Agriculture, Food Safety Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) recommends cooking chicken to a minimum internal temperature of 170 degrees Fahrenheit and using a digital thermometer to verify the temperature.
- Thoroughly wash hands and work surfaces before and after contact with any raw or uncooked chicken, including cutting boards and utensils.
- Use separate cutting boards for all food (example: use a separate cutting board for fresh vegetables—do not use the same cutting board as for raw meat).
- Carefully clean cutting boards, countertops, and utensils with hot, soapy water after each use.
- Keep hot foods hot (140 degrees Fahrenheit or above).
- Immediately refrigerate leftovers below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or discard.
Product Attributes & Claims
Frequent questions about badges, claims, and information displayed on our product packaging
- Any George’s® chicken sold with the “no antibiotics ever” label claim means that no antibiotics have ever been administered to our chickens. This includes in the hatchery, prior to chickens hatching, and while they are raised on the farm.
- We will, however, continue to treat sick flocks with antibiotics—it’s the right thing to do. For any treated flocks, products will marketed separately and NEVER carry a “no antibiotics ever” claim on the label.
NOTE: No chicken products sourced from chickens raised in the United States contain antibiotics in the meat. This is because federal regulations require withdrawing medicines well in advance of processing to ensure medications have time to work through chickens’ systems, and there is no antibiotic residue in the meat. The exact withdrawal period varies, depending on U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines for certain types of medicines.
No. Federal law has banned the use of hormones and steroids in poultry production since the 1950s. It’s a myth that chickens grow quickly because of hormones and steroids. It’s because of advances in genetics and growing conditions that chickens thrive the way they do—not because anything unnatural is added.
USDA allows chicken producers to place an “all natural” claim on labels so long as products contain “all natural” ingredients. All George’s® chicken products that carry “all natural” on the label contain no artificial ingredients. In most cases, our products contain just one ingredient: chicken!
When consumers see the “Non-GMO Project Verified” callout on product labels, it means that the product inside those packages has been brought to market according to specific standards that have been independently verified by a qualified agency. Chickens, themselves, are not genetically modified organisms (GMOs). However, chickens eat grains, which include corn and soybeans, and those grains may or may not be genetically modified. In order to carry the “Non-GMO Project Verified” label, however, chickens raised for those products ate a diet of non-GMO grains throughout their entire lifetimes. Both GMO and non-GMO grains used to raise George’s chicken flocks are locally sourced in the United States.
When a product contains nothing but 100% all natural chicken (no added salt, ingredients, or additives of any kind), we are not required to have an ingredient statement on the label.
How We Raise Our Chickens
Frequent questions about our farms, raising practices, and nutrition of our flocks
100% of chickens raised for George’s® chicken products are raised on family farms in the United States. We work with approximately 500 family farmers in Arkansas, Missouri, and Virginia. A subset of these farmers raise chickens for our products labeled “Non-GMO Project Verified.”
- All chickens raised for George’s® products are raised in enclosed environments called “chicken houses.” These houses protect chickens from inclement weather, predators, and wild birds that can carry diseases like avian influenza. Protecting our chickens is important since they are domesticated birds and have few natural defenses.
- Chicken houses are climate-controlled for comfort and provide supportive growing conditions.
- Chicken houses provide access to lighting, which is adjusted for wake and rest periods.
- Chickens have 24-7 access to filtered water and nutritious feed, based on the life stage of developing chickens.
- Chickens are free to roam the chicken house and interact. They ARE NOT raised in cages.
- Our basic chicken feed recipe includes corn, soybean meal, healthy fats*, vitamins, and minerals.
- *Healthy fats are either sourced from animal or plant sources.
- For those chicken products that state “vegetarian diet” or “veg fed” on the label, it means that chickens raised for those products ate feed that contained healthy fats that came from plant source only (no animal byproducts).
- Our feed mills make all the feed our chickens ever eat.
- Feed formulations are made under the direction of poultry nutritionists, and specific records of each feed batch are tracked.
- Different “recipes” are made to meet the ever-changing nutritional and feeding needs of growing chickens.
- Feed for baby chicks is first made into pellets before being crumbled to ensure that developing chicks can’t pick and choose their favorite ingredients. It’s important they get a balanced diet of everything they need.
- Our chicken feed program’s rigorous standards for sourcing and routine lab testing of feed ingredients and finished feeds ensure chicken feed is safe, wholesome, and nutritious.
All feed ingredients for George’s chicken flocks are sourced from farms in the United States.