What Do The Labels On Your Thanksgiving Turkey Mean?

Thursday, November 19th 2015, 10:08 am
By: News 9

We are one week away from Thanksgiving. If you plan to pick up a turkey today or this weekend, it may be confusing.

A consumer report from last year found many people don't understand labels on food. And when it comes to the turkey, there are a lot. Here is a list from USA Today to help us break it down.

First, you'll you might notice the word "Natural." This only refers to how the turkey was processed not raised. The bird also contains no artificial ingredients.

Another popular label "Cage-Free.” You may want this label if you're shopping for eggs, but turkeys are always raised cage-free.

Next up, "Humanely raised." When it comes to this label, the USDA doesn't define this claim so it can vary. Some turkey producers consider this to mean "animals free to roam on pastures."

If you notice a label on your turkey that says "Hormone-Free" here you go -- the USDA prohibits use of hormones in poultry. So basically this label means nothing.

Next label that might trip you up "No Antibiotics Ever." This means your turkey did NOT receive antibiotics in feed, water or by injection.

Just an FYI, the phrase "antibiotic-free" is not approved for meat and poultry labels.

Have you seen the label "Free Range?" Producers have to prove that an animal housed indoors has access outdoors for more than half of its life.

Heads up, if you plan to buy a frozen turkey now is the time to do that. You may have a hard time finding a large Turkey due to the bird flu.