As long as you keep your turkey in the coldest part of your refrigerator (e.g. near the back), you can use or freeze it by the “Use or freeze by” date.
Our brined turkey ingredients are: Turkey, water, Kosher salt, brown sugar, dried orange peel, thyme, black pepper, all spice, bay leaf, crushed pepper and pepper flakes.
During harvest, giblets are removed from the chicken for separate processing and sometimes not able to be repackaged with the bird. We make every attempt to sell whole birds with giblets but cannot make the guarantee.
Absolutely! The giblets are wrapped in paper and do not pose a risk to the product or consumer. Also, forgetting to take them out will have minimal to no effect on the taste of the chicken.
100% of our birds are raised without antibiotics and to the Bell & Evans Humane Animal Welfare Standard. All of our chickens are 100% air chilled and fed a ‘No Junk’ diet. The difference between our ‘RWA’ and organic chickens is…our organic chickens have access to the outdoors when the weather is good and are fed a diet made from organic certified grains (and still with no junk).
Nothing is added or injected to our fresh chicken. It contains only natural juices.
No. We prohibit the use of MSG and MSG-like products in our chicken.
Bell & Evans does not use nitrates or nitrites. Any that are in the meat would be naturally occurring.
No, Bell & Evans does not use any phosphates or phosphorous in any of our products, fresh or frozen. Though breaded items often have phosphate, ours do not.
The only sodium and potassium in Bell & Evans fresh chicken is that which naturally occurs in chicken. These amounts are listed on the nutrition facts label. We do not add sodium or potassium to any of our fresh products. Some frozen items do contain sodium and potassium.
Salmonella is a naturally occurring bacteria found in soil and water. All raw agricultural products – fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, poultry, etc. – are susceptible to naturally occurring bacteria. Salmonella is prevalent in raw chicken products which is why you should practice safe handling and never consume raw or undercooked chicken. No matter if the product is labeled as organic or natural or otherwise, there is always potential that raw poultry can make you sick if improperly handled, cooked or chilled. Fortunately, all Salmonella on chicken is destroyed by cooking the product to an internal temperature of 165º F. Additionally, you can prevent cross-contamination of products and surfaces by frequently washing hands, surfaces and utensils that come in contact with raw chicken and keeping raw and cooked products and utensils separated.
Understanding Salmonella Scores
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) routinely collects chicken samples from U.S. poultry producers to test for naturally occurring bacteria like Salmonella to ensure that the nation’s chicken supply meets rigorous food safety Performance Standards. The sample serves as a metric to measure the presence or absence of Salmonella on the whole chicken carcass or part of the chicken. The sample does not measure how much Salmonella is present, as one single cell of Salmonella can result in a positive test. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has identified more than 2,500 strains of Salmonella with fewer than 100 strains accounting for most human infections. Regardless, since some strains do cause human infections, our strategy is to eliminate all Salmonella. Salmonella categorization by individual establishments are made public on the USDA website, and the establishment name for Bell & Evans is “Farmers Pride Inc.”
Salmonella Fluctuations and Reduction
It is common for Salmonella and other naturally occurring bacteria levels to fluctuate, although our strategy is to achieve and maintain a Category 1 status in the FSIS Salmonella Performance Standards ranking. Spikes in Salmonella like Bell & Evans has recently experienced can occur from a number of factors including warmer temperatures, for example. Additionally, organic-certified facilities like those at Bell & Evans work harder to fight bacteria like Salmonella because our products and surfaces are not exposed to harsh cleaning agents that may otherwise eliminate some bacteria. All Bell & Evans team members, regardless of length of employment, receive Safe Quality Foods (SQF) training upon hire which includes how to reduce the risk and spread of bacteria.
Bell & Evans has consistently performed very well in managing bacteria levels, and as a trusted premium poultry producer with a reputation for superior quality products, we continue to evaluate every step of the product cycle to implement the best animal care and controls for food safety.
Our systematic approach to reducing bacteria levels includes but is not limited to the following efforts:
- Salmonella vaccinations are administered to breeder chickens to promote healthy, Salmonella-free hatching eggs and chicks.
- Strict biosecurity and sanitation standards are maintained at our Organic Certified, Animal-Welfare-Focused Chicken Hatchery to reduce risk of illness and disease to newborn chicks.
- Chickens are provided with acidified, heat-treated feed at every stage of life, which kills any bacteria that may be present. Our feed contains natural probiotics to promote gut health and provide competitive exclusion to bacteria like Salmonella.
- Chicken houses have cement floors and curbs to prevent rodents and pests that may carry Salmonella from tunneling inside, making the chicken houses easier to fully clean out and sanitize between flocks, unique to the industry. Houses, feed, and water systems are cleaned and sanitized between every flock, and houses remain empty for more than two weeks to break the lifecycle of bacteria.
- Chicken houses receive fresh, new litter with every new flock, eliminating the risk of cross-contamination of bacteria from one flock to the next.
- Chicken farms follow strict biosecurity measures to reduce risk of cross-contamination between chicken houses and the outside environment.
- Processing facilities use a series of organic, food-grade acids and rinses designed to kill or reduce the growth of bacteria at key points throughout the operation.
- Products are maintained at refrigerated temperatures throughout the entirety of the manufacturing process in order to reduce the growth of bacteria like Salmonella.
According to the USDA, all cooked leftovers can be refrigerated for three to four days. Check our food preparation page for more information.
The coloration difference between white and dark meat is due to a higher myoglobin content. Dark meat also contains slightly higher calorie, fat and vitamin content, but the myoglobin influences the color.
Traditional water chilling bleaches meat. Bell & Evans chickens are 100% Air Chilled, so you’ll see more blood from the veins.
Please reference the Use or Freeze By date on your packaging. On fresh packaging, the “Freeze By” date is engraved on the back of the tray header, engraved in the tray. On prepared and frozen packaging, the “Freeze By” date is imprinted on the side of the box.
You’ll find this occurs more often with Bell & Evans chicken because it’s 100% Air Chilled. When poultry products are water chilled, the chlorinated water washes out the remaining blood. Bell & Evans chicken is 100% Air Chilled, so it retains more marrow and blood than other brands. If the meat is cooked according to directions and reaches an internal temperature of 165-170 degrees, it’s safe to consume.
All bones contain bone marrow, which is the source for creating new red blood cells. When poultry products are cooled with chilled chlorinated water, the chlorine washes out the remaining blood. Since our products are 100% Air Chilled without being soaked in chilled chlorinated water, this bleaching does not occur. Unlike water chilling, our 100% Air Chilled method preserves the natural chicken flavor.
Bell & Evans chicken is 100% Air Chilled, meaning it has no retained chlorinated water. We do use a simple marinade of water and sea salt for our frozen breaded items. The marinade helps the batter and breading adhere to the chicken (especially since they are whole breast meat chunks – not chopped and formed). It also ensures the food remains moist and juicy through its frozen shelf life.
We flash fry just enough to set the breading so it doesn’t fall off through the freezing and shipping process (approx. 30 seconds). In order to fully cook these items in a deep fryer, that process would be much longer (between 7-12 minutes based on which product being cooked), and we do not do that. We keep the chicken uncooked for a better, higher quality eating experience since the meat is only cooked once prior to eating.
Look for the “Best By” date on the side of every Bell & Evans Box.
Turn the package over to the back. The “Use or Freeze By” date is stamped into the plastic on the black box on the upper right side of the traypack.
Bell & Evans operates multiple facilities. Our harvest facility (P-1304) is an allergen free plant.
Our packaging and further processing facility (P-1304-a) may use any of the FDA’s recognized nine (9) major food allergens in controlled areas of the plant. Those areas have strict storage separation and handling processes. All equipment is cleaned, sanitized and tested to ensure no allergen cross-contamination.
As a rule, all of our fresh, raw, unseasoned poultry is naturally allergen free.
No. Our fresh facility is allergen free. There is no risk of corn allergen cross-contamination at our fresh facility.
Our fresh facility is allergen free.
Our frozen products facility processes Italian patties and garlic parmesan patties that contain cheese and therefore milk/lactose, but cannot process any milk-free product that day. The allergen is stored securely and equipment is cleaned before any milk/lactose-free product is produced.
The Bell & Evans products that contain dairy are breaded Italian patties, breaded garlic parmesan breasts, and buffalo style wings.
Our fresh facility is allergen free. Our frozen products facility processes gluten free items that contain egg, but cannot process any other egg-free product that day. The allergen is stored securely and equipment is cleaned before any egg-free product is produced.
All of our gluten free (black box) items contain egg.
Our fresh facility is a gluten free facility. Our frozen products facility is not gluten free. Although the gluten free items are produced on shared equipment, the gluten allergens are first stored securely and equipment is cleaned at night. The gluten free items are produced before any products containing gluten.
Please see the gluten free option on Our Chicken to see all gluten free items.
Our fresh facility is allergen free. Our frozen products facility is peanut and tree nut free. We do manufacture a product with coconut.
Our fresh and frozen facilities are sesame-free. While we produce no items containing sesame, there may be sesame at one of our co-packing facilities. Sesame is considered a “food sensitive ingredient,” so safe handling and good practices are used to prevent cross contamination. If you are unsure about a specific item, please reach out to Customer Service on our Contacts Page.
This is not a professional medical opinion, but it is our understanding that the meat that we consume does not carry the proteins from the soy and it is the proteins that carry the allergen. The proteins from the soy the chickens eat in their feed has been broken down and used by the chicken in its lifetime for nutrition and growth; they are not carried over into the meat. However, we cannot make recommendations on health and must encourage you to speak to a doctor who can take into consideration your sensitivity and concern, and give you a professional medical opinion.
The oil does not carry proteins, and it is the proteins that carry the allergen. However, we cannot make recommendations on health and must encourage you to speak to a doctor who can take into consideration your sensitivity and concern, and give you a professional medical opinion.
Our fresh facility is P-1304
Our further processing and packaging facility is P-1304-a
Humane Animal Welfare & Certifications
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the Humane Society of the United States, and even Temple Grandin agree that Bell & Evans continually raises the benchmark for the entire poultry industry. Our humane animal welfare standards are an ever-evolving set of best practices in ethical treatment. We strive to be better today than we were yesterday, and keep the chickens’ well-being at the forefront of everything we do.
We do not use mRNA vaccines in our chicken and do not plan to use mRNA vaccines in our chicken.
Klassenbester is Bell & Evans’ new higher-welfare, more flavorful breed of broiler chickens. The new breed, Das Klassenbester, will 100% replace Bell & Evans’ current breed of chickens by June 2019. Learn More
We have two lines of chickens. One is organic and the other is all natural/raised without antibiotics (RWA).
- Both are fed an all-natural, antibiotic-free diet, but the organic line feed is certified organic. The all-natural/RWA feed is not organic.
- Both are free-roaming within their barns, but the organic chickens are given access to the outdoors and free-range, weather and age permitting. They are also raised on an organic farm. All-natural/RWA chicken is not given access to the outdoors.
- Both lines are 100% Air Chilled.
We do not participate in third party paid certifications. Some of the worst offenders of animal welfare practices have American Certified Humane logos on their packaging. This is not a credible source.
We operate under the Bell & Evans Humane Animal Welfare Standard. Unlike other humane certifying organizations that only set standards at the farm, the Bell & Evans Humane Animal Welfare Standard oversees all aspects of the chickens’ life cycle from hatchery to farm, live receiving to processing. Our standard covers all handling and transportation. Our live-poultry-handling procedures are enforced and audited by Bell & Evans personnel in addition to being audited by two independent groups.
Chicken base is a concentrated flavor compound used in place of stock in making soups, sauces, and gravies. One popular brand is Better Than Bouillon.
Chicken broth and Base typically use the same ingredients, but Chicken Base is thicker and more concentrated.
Our chicken feed is made of corn, soybeans, oregano oil, cinnamon and yucca. For more information on our feed, visit Our Farms.
We only supplement our organic feed with the essential amino acid methionine. We do not us MSG, Monosodium Glutamate, a derivative of glutamic acid, which is also an amino acid.
No, we prohibit the use of arsenic and arsenic-like products.
We prohibit the use of arsenic or arsenic like products in our feed. Testing for arsenic is conducted in accordance with USDA requirements by the USDA. Results are not information we share, but we have not had any issues.
There are no dried distilled grains in any of our chicken feed, organic nor RWA.
Our feed ingredients are primarily corn and soybeans. There is no fish.
We use a small amount of organic wheat in our chick’s starter diets. It’s our understanding that the meat that we consume does not carry the proteins from the wheat and it is the proteins that carry the allergen. The proteins from the wheat the chickens eat in their feed has been broken down and used by the chicken in its lifetime for nutrition and growth; they are not carried over into the meat.
Bell & Evans does extensive nutrient testing on the ingredients used in manufacturing our complete feeds. Key essential nutrients are added to poultry feed to avoid certain deficiencies and to assure that the birds’ requirement for these essential nutrients is met.
The grains used to make our chicken feed, including the seeds used to grow the crops, are all certified organic. They are grown in a field that has been pesticide/herbicide free field for a certain number of years and has been certified organic by an agency.
The grain must be processed in an organic certified feed mill, and all stages–from field to mill–are audited to meet organic certification requirements.
Our feed formulations are the result of extensive testing to best meet the nutritional needs of our chickens. The number of bugs or insects an organic chicken may choose to ingest is miniscule. We find them to be satisfied with the feed provided. They do not tend to forage outside as much as you would expect.
Our organic chickens are fed a certified organic diet that is GMO free. Our non-organic chickens are fed a conventional diet that could contain GMO.
Our organic chickens are fed certified organic grains that are non-GMO. We cannot make that claim on our RWA chickens, as sourcing 100% non-GMO conventional grains in the U.S. would be impossible. Currently, 95% of the soybeans and corn grown in the U.S. are genetically modified (GMO).
This is not a professional medical opinion, but it is our understanding that the meat that we consume does not carry the proteins from the soy and it is the proteins that carry the allergen. The proteins from the soy the chickens eat in their feed has been broken down and used by the chicken in its lifetime for nutrition and growth; they are not carried over into the meat.
However, we cannot make recommendations on health and must encourage you to speak to a doctor who can take into consideration your sensitivity and concern and give you a professional medical opinion.
The chicken feed is enhanced with Vitamins A, D, E, K, B-12, Niacin, Riboflavin and Thiamine and the minerals Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron and Zinc.
Yes, we can guarantee that our organic chickens are fed a certified organic diet. The organic feed is supplied from a local mill. The corn and soy for our organic chicken feed is 100% sourced from U.S. farmers, not sourced from the Ukraine, China or Turkey (now one of the largest exporters of organic products to the United States) like some other poultry producers. All stages from field to mill are U.S. grown and audited to meet organic certification requirements.
Feeding small grains can be problematic with a chicken’s digestive system. Also, chicken meat is so lean that there is not much fat to increase the omega 3 content. It works better in eggs because there is enough fat in the yolk portion.
Bell & Evans Rocks
We held a promotion in February 2019. Twenty-five (25) Winners were selected to win a Bell & Evans Kindness Rock. The rocks were sent throughout the United States. Although the promotion ended on 2/28/2019, we may randomly award a Bell & Evans Kindness rock on our Facebook Page or our Bell & Evans Kindness Rocks Group on Facebook from time to time. Please follow our Facebook page or Group for a chance to win.
We strongly encourage you to post a picture of your rock on our Facebook Group Bell and Evans Rocks. You can even tag us in pictures on Instagram with “#BellandEvansRocks”. It’s a great way to connect with other people. People who have created the rocks—some of them are children– love to see where their rocks have traveled to. It’s fun to see where some of the other rocks ended up too!
Absolutely you can keep it! If it made you happy and brightened your day, please keep it! We strongly encourage you to paint a rock or leave another rock in its place for someone else to find. Spread the love!
No! You can cut out a picture or use a sticker and some modge podge to make your rock. You can even write something that might make someone smile, like “You are loved”. Just finding a rock with a kind saying will brighten someone’s day.