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Supermarket Guide to Buying Chicken

What do packaging labels on poultry really mean for consumers?

As consumers demand ever more information about their chicken, producers and government regulators have responded with labels that are supposed to take the mystique out of your bird. Unfortunately, deciphering these labels can make even the most Zen among us feel like a chicken with its head cut off. Here is our guide to truth in poultry labeling.

 

Kosher

Recently, The New York Times reported that most people are buying kosher chickens not for religious reasons but because they believe that they’re raised more humanely and are less likely to be contaminated. Kosher laws insist birds be slaughtered with a single cut to the neck using a special razor-sharp blade. The birds are not stunned, as is standard in most operations. However, one shouldn’t assume that all kosher chickens are treated humanely, say some animal-
welfare groups. As for the relative food safety of kosher chicken, scientific results have been mixed.

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