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FOSTER FARMS COMMENDS FSIS FOR PROPOSING NEW ‘NATURAL’ LABELING RULES
Consumer outreach sought to increase awareness of hidden sodium in fresh poultry labeled "natural"

7/22/2011

LIVINGSTON, Calif. – Foster Farms, the West Coast’s leading poultry brand, supports the FSIS’s proposed new rule to establish common, easy-to-understand names for raw meat and poultry products that include injections, marinades, or have otherwise incorporated added solutions which may not be visible to the consumer. The company has made a dedicated effort in recent years to increasing consumer awareness about labeling rules that permit sodium-injected - or “plumped” - chicken products to carry the “natural” label. Foster Farms’ Say No To Plumping campaign sought to educate consumers about the differences between truly natural fresh poultry products and the oft-misleading practice of injecting – or plumping—fresh chicken with added saltwater and still calling it “natural.” The program resulted in more than 22,000 West Coast consumers signing a petition to the USDA calling for re-examination of “natural” labeling rules.




“We are pleased to see this labeling issue get the attention it deserves,” said Ira Brill, Director of Marketing for Foster Farms. “Consumers should know what they are buying and at Foster Farms, we believe that ‘natural’ labeled chicken should be just that – fresh, raw chicken - not chicken loaded with saltwater and additives that’s been trucked across the country to your grocery store. Because we deliver our fresh chicken fresh in 48 hours or less, there is no need for it to contain anything added. To us, ‘natural’ means fresh, locally grown with no additives, preservatives or saltwater.”




A 2009 Foster Farms consumer survey found that “more than two-thirds of consumers who purchased sodium injected chicken were unaware that it contained sodium additives.” Chicken labeled “natural” can contain up to 500 percent more sodium than truly natural, no saltwater added, fresh chicken. Under current guidelines, both plumped and truly “natural” poultry can be labeled “natural.”

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About Foster Farms
Since 1939, West Coast families have depended on Foster Farms for premium quality chicken products. Family-owned and operated, the company continues its legacy of excellence and commitment to quality established by its founders, Max and Verda Foster. Foster Farms specializes in fresh, all natural chicken products free of preservatives, additives or injected sodium enhancers. Based in California's Central Valley, with ranches also in the Pacific Northwest, the company's fresh chicken is produced in or near each region served and delivered fresh within 48 hours. Foster Farms also produces delicious pre-marinated, ready-to-cook and fully cooked products that meet the quality and convenience needs of today's home cooks, retailers, warehouse clubs and foodservice customers.




Food safety is Foster Farms’ highest priority and the company would like to remind consumers to always follow safe handling, preparation and storage guidelines for the preparation of fresh poultry products All fresh poultry products should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F (boneless and ground) and 180°F and 170°F (bone-in: breast and drums thighs and wings). Visit www.fosterfarms.com to learn more.