FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS?
WHY ARE YOUR PLUS PRODUCTS NO LONGER NON-GMO PROJECT VERIFIED?
We have a long-standing commitment to using only U.S. grown corn and soybeans to make the feed for our chickens. Unfortunately, we are no longer able to source enough non-GMO corn and soybeans that are grown in the U.S. to feed all of our chickens and importing grains is not an option as they do not meet our high quality standards. Please rest assured that the corn and soybeans that we source are still high quality, 100% U.S. grown, and pesticide free. We test every load of feed ingredient upon arrival to our feed mill and every load of finished feed as well in our on-site USDA certified laboratory.
DO YOU USE ARSENIC?
No. Our chickens are NEVER administered or fed any form of organic or inorganic arsenic in any way, shape or form.
WHAT CHILLING METHOD DO YOU USE?
We chill by using the water-chilled immersion method versus the air chilled method. Immersion chilling has proven over the years to be the most successful means for preventing microbial growth as well as reducing temperature. “Cooled Air” chilling not only falls short comparably to immersion chilling in food safety, but most often requires the use of chlorine spray to remove undesirable contaminants.
WHY IS THE SODIUM CONTENT SO HIGH ON YOUR FULLY-COOKED PRODUCTS?
Creating a fully-cooked product requires the use of sodium bearing ingredients to increase shelf life and add flavor. Our fully-cooked products contain the same and oftentimes less sodium than other fully-cooked products on the market. We are always looking for ways to improve our product and may determine a way to reduce the sodium content of these products in the future.
IS SPRINGER MOUNTAIN FARMS CHICKEN GLUTEN FREE?
Yes. Our USDA certified laboratory tests confirm that our chicken products never contain gluten.
ARE YOUR CHICKENS ORGANIC?
Springer Mountain Farms chickens are not classified as organic. We feel that our chicken sets itself above the standards for organic classification by USDA which allow the use of antibiotics the first days of life, do not address food safety, are not certified to a humane standard, and do not require testing of soil, water and feed. We NEVER use antibiotics, are certified by the American Humane Association, and we test soil, water and feed in our onsite USDA certified laboratory for contaminants and pesticides.
DOES SPRINGER MOUNTAIN FARMS PROCESS AND SELL CHICKENS THAT HAVE BEEN FOUND TO HAVE AVIAN LEUKISOS(AL)?
The recent news of the FSIS (Food Safety Inspection Service) allowing chickens with AL (Avian Leukosis) to be processed and packaged for consumer sale has NO impact on Springer Mountain Farms. We are highly committed to providing the safest and healthiest products possible; therefore, it has, is, and will always be our company’s practice to discard any whole chicken found with AL.
DO YOU SEND CHICKEN TO CHINA FOR PROCESSING?
No! We never have and never will send our chickens to China for processing. All of our farms and facilities are family owned and operated, and are conveniently located within a 60-mile radius of our home office in Northeast Georgia. This enables us to provide our customers with the safest, highest quality products possible.
DO YOU ADMINISTER THE MRNA VACCINE?
There are NO mRNA vaccines approved for use in poultry, so we have not and do not administer those to our chickens. mRNAs are approved by the FDA for use in humans only.
HOW DO YOU SLAUGHTER YOUR CHICKENS?
Our chickens are slaughtered by means of electrical stunning then exsanguination from the carotid artery. This has proven to be the most thorough and humane method possible as the sensibility of the chicken is first reduced so it is not aware of the process at all. In addition, exsanguination ensures that the chicken is deceased before any processing begins. All of our practices and procedures are American Humane Certified™, and approved as being the most humane possible. This is verified by regular, independent audits of all farms and facilities by the American Humane, the oldest and most trusted advocate of animal welfare in the country.
DO YOU USE HORMONES OR GROWTH STIMULANTS IN YOUR CHICKEN?
We do NOT use hormones, steroids or growth stimulants of any kind. The USDA & FDA strictly PROHIBIT the use of steroids and hormones in poultry production entirely and have since the 1950s.
ARE YOUR CHICKENS FREE RANGE OR PASTURE RAISED?
No, Our chickens are not free range nor pasture raised. They are raised inside comfortable houses where they have an unlimited supply of clean water and fresh feed along with plenty of fresh air and room to roam about, allowing them the ability to live a normal life without the threat of predators, exposure to diseases from migratory birds, or harm from the elements as they’d be subjected to if raised outdoors. Our low-stress growing practices and procedures have earned us certification as American Humane Certified™ by the oldest and most trusted advocate of animal welfare in the country, American Humane. Springer Mountain Farms was the first brand of chicken in the world to be American Humane Certified™.
ARE YOUR CHICKENS ALLOWED TO FORAGE? WHAT DO YOU FEED YOUR CHICKENS?
Chickens by nature are eating machines, and when allowed to forage on their own outdoors, they will eat anything they come across, good or bad. If we are unable to control what our chickens are eating, we don’t know what our customers are eating, and that’s a risk we do not want to take!
We feed our chickens a diet of American-grown, pesticide-free, corn and soybean meal plus vitamins and minerals that never includes any antibiotics, hormones, steroids, or animal by-products. Our feed is carefully formulated by staff veterinarians and expert nutritionists to provide the optimum amount of nutrients for the health and well-being of our chickens.
WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT ANTIBIOTICS?
Some companies feed their chickens antibiotics to promote growth. This has led to the over use of antibiotics and has created a resistance to the treatment of the diseases for which they were intended. Our chickens don’t need antibiotics to grow and stay healthy. Providing the chickens with a high quality diet and focusing on sound animal husbandry (increased space, reduced stress, high levels of sanitation) eliminates the need for antibiotics.
WHAT DOES AMERICAN HUMANE CERTIFIED MEAN?
We take extra steps to ensure the health and welfare of our chickens. All of our practices and procedures are American Humane Certified™, and approved as the most humane possible. This is verified by regular, independent, third party audits of all farms and facilities. We were the first poultry producer in the world to be American Humane Certified™ by the oldest and most trusted advocate of animal welfare in the country, American Humane. To learn more about the American Humane Certified™ program, visit humaneheartland.org.
WHAT IS YOUR COVID-19 RESPONSE?
As a poultry company, it is vital that we continue to provide a healthy, safe and reliable food source. While we have continued to operate on a normal schedule throughout the pandemic, as a family owned business, our employees have and will always be our most important asset. Their safety, along with the safety of our consumers, will remain our focus as we all continue to deal with the lingering effects of COVID-19. We continue to take steps to ensure that our employees are as safe at work as they are at home, which has allowed us to continue to provide the highest quality poultry products on the market.
Please rest assured that there is no evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. However, as always, please practice general food safety before preparing or eating food by washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and ensuring that your chicken is cooked to a minimal internal temperature of 165° F.
We appreciate your continued confidence and support as we navigate this difficult time together, and we look forward to continuing to serve you!
WHAT STEPS DO YOU TAKE DURING PROCESSING TO ADDRESS FOOD SAFETY?
American consumers can be confident that the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the public health agency in the USDA, ensures that all of our products are safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged. In addition to these measures, Springer Mountain Farms participates in the Safe Quality Food Program (SQF). This program is a food safety and quality certification program recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), as a rigorous, credible food safety and quality management system. Maintaining certification through the SQF Institute assures our customers that we continuously and effectively implement robust food safety control systems based on sound scientific principles. Our HACCP Plan, Good Manufacturing Practices and Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures form a foundation of our SQF Program and define the procedures and conduct our employees are expected to follow. SQF Institute auditors frequently inspect each facilities processes, control measures, training records, and the training comprehension level of our employees to ensure compliance with the SQF Code.
WHAT IS BIOSECURITY AND WHY DO YOU DO IT?
Biosecurity can simply be defined as policies, procedures, physical constraints or measures that are put into place to prevent the introduction of organisms, viruses, chemical or physical agents that may be defined as a threat to the health of the poultry or humans. We use specific procedures to ensure that the poultry being produced does not come into contact with disease agents or hazardous materials or agents that would impact the health of the chicken being produced or present a potential threat to our consumers.
WHAT STEPS DO YOU TAKE TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT?
Protecting the environment for future generations is high on the Springer Mountain Farms list of priorities. On the farms before any houses are built, soil is tested for residue, potential run-off and environmental impact on wildlife. Our staffed specialists continually conduct environmental testing that the EPA has set as standards. We look beyond these standards for new and better ways to protect the environment.
ARE YOUR TRAYS RECYCLABLE?
Most of our fresh tray-packed Springer Mountain Farms PLUS products are packaged in our new clear plastic tray. The new clear trays are three times stronger than styrofoam, yet 100% recycleable with a resin code of 1, and they are also BPA Free.