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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.

Farm-Raised

The USDA defines a “farm” as any operation that sells at least $1,000 of agricultural commodities, so any producer raising that much chicken to sell is entitled to use this label. It says nothing about how the chickens were raised. It also does not mean that the person overseeing the operation drives a truck or wears faded flannel

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