Pick up fresh or frozen poultry toward the end of the shopping trip, so it stays cold for as long as possible.
Bag poultry products separately from unwrapped foods like fresh fruits and vegetables.
Refrigerate or freeze as soon as possible, or within half an hour of buying.
Understanding the Sell-by date
Do not purchase or prepare our products past their sell-by date. We mark this date on packages at our facilities for your safety. If you need further help, consult the following chart:
If Purchased BEFORE the
If Purchased ON
the Sell-by Date
HARVESTLAND® Fresh, Uncooked Products
Use or freeze the product within two days.
This is the last day on which you should purchase and prepare or freeze the product.
DO NOT PURCHASE AFTER THE SELL-BY DATE.
Understanding the Use-by date
The use-by date is the last date you should purchase and serve a HARVESTLAND® product. On HARVESTLAND® Individually Frozen Chicken, the use-by date indicates the last date the product should be taken from the freezer and cooked.
If Purchased BEFORE
If Purchased ON
HARVESTLAND® Fully Cooked Products
Store at 36°F or below, in refrigerator, unopened until use-by date.
This is the last day you should purchase and freeze or serve.
DO NOT PURCHASE AFTER THE USE-BY DATE.
HARVESTLAND® Individually Frozen Chicken
Store in freezer or prepare up to the use-by date.
This is the last day products should be taken from the freezer and cooked.
General handling guidelines for raw, fresh poultry that has been frozen.
If buying fresh poultry, make sure the package is clean, cold, sealed tight without rips or leaks, sold from a refrigerated poultry case and within the proper date.
If buying frozen poultry, make sure it is also clean, packaged well and rock-solid to the touch.
Refrigerate or freeze poultry quickly after purchase, if possible within half an hour.
Defrost chicken or turkey in the refrigerator, not on the counter, allowing a few hours to a full day depending on size.
Don't cross-contaminate. Raw turkey and chicken should never come in contact with other foods, especially fruit and vegetables.
Do not rinse poultry. Cross contamination is more likely to occur with rinsing.
Serve poultry as soon as possible and refrigerate leftovers within two hours.
Protect raw poultry from other foods. We don't recommend unwrapping a poultry package before you're ready to cook, however, we do suggest overwrapping the package in plastic wrap, or placing it on a plate as it thaws.
Take note of appearance, touch and smell. The product should not be eaten if it appears gray, feels slimy or smells sour. When in doubt, throw it out.
It's OK to go from freezer to oven. You don't need to defrost poultry before cooking. All you have to do is increase the cooking to 1 ½ times the recommended cooking time.
Proper storage is important for keeping HARVESTLAND® products fresh, flavorful and safe. To properly store our products, follow these tips:
Refrigerate or freeze poultry quickly after the purchase. Try to do this within a half hour to prevent the growth of dangerous bacteria. Be sure to avoid the "danger zone," which falls between 40°F and 140°F.
Keep the freezer at 0°F and the refrigerator at 36°F.
Check regularly with a thermometer to make sure the proper temperature
In the freezer, pack foods tightly together so each
item can keep the others cold.
In the refrigerator, pack foods loosely to allow room
for air to circulate freely.
Seal packages well. Don't let them leak. After sealing, clearly identify them and mark them with a date before freezing.
Store poultry on the bottom shelf and in the back of the refrigerator to prevent leakage onto other foods.
Guide to Storage
Use this guide to properly store HARVESTLAND® products.
To cook poultry to its fully cooked and safe temperature, we recommend using a meat thermometer and following the tips below.
In the oven: 325°F is the lowest oven setting to safely cook poultry.
On the stovetop: When sautéing, make sure the product is cooked all the way through. High heat will brown the poultry, but after this occurs, turn down the heat. Covering the pan can also help the meat cook inside.
In the microwave: Follow a recipe for temperature and setting, stirring or rotating to be sure there are no cold spots.
On the grill: Grill chicken and turkey over medium-hot charcoal, or follow manufacturer's directions on a gas grill to avoid overcooking the outside, while undercooking the meat inside. (Coals are medium-hot when you can hold your hand over them comfortably for 3 to 4 seconds.)
Bring leftovers to a boil. Bring soups, sauces and gravies to a boil before serving them again, and heat leftovers such as casseroles to 165°F.
Check for doneness. Watch for these signs that indicate poultry is fully cooked:
Juices run clear.
A meat thermometer registers the proper poultry temperature.
Cook chicken and turkey thoroughly, using a meat thermometer to gauge doneness:
To cook poultry to its optimum quality and safe temperature, we recommend using a thermometer to ensure doneness. This should be placed in the thickest part of the cut without touching bone. Refer to the below chart for appropriate endpoint temperatures by poultry cut.