How do you ship your meats? Will they stay cold enough?
We ship our meat products out frozen so that they stay cold longer. Some products have a "use or freeze by" date listed on the label. Everything we send out has been flash frozen before that date. Your product may arrive slightly or fully defrosted (depending on the time of year). Upon reception, product should be refrozen or refrigerated for later use. Our meat products are packaged in vacuum-sealed packaging to extend the shelf life. Sometimes, in the process of shipping, the vacuum packaging may lose its seal. If you are planning on consuming the product within a week's time, this will not affect the longevity of the product itself.
We ship our products in lined boxes with 1-3 ice packs, depending on the size of the package and the time of year. On rare occasions, because of hot weather or extended time in transit, product may become too warm to consume safely. Any raw meats over 40 degrees in temperature upon delivery should not be consumed. In those cases, please reach out to us and we will gladly replace any damaged or warm items. The safety and satisfaction of our customers is our first concern!
Do you use any fillers in your products?
No. We do not add fillers to our products, nor do we use centrifuges to obtain animal by-products repurposed as fillers, as some larger meat packing operations do. We welcome any inquiries about the ingredients used in our products, information that can also be found on product labels and our website.
Do you use nitrates in your products?
For some, yes. Nitrates are a naturally-occurring and stable chemical compound consisting of one nitrogen and two oxygen atoms. Nitrates are found in high amounts in vegetables such as celery and beets, and are a natural part of the human body, which converts Nitrates into Nitric Acid, a healthy chemical compound. Many meat products advertised as "Nitrate-Free" in fact contain higher levels of Nitrates in their use of Celery Salt in place of Sodium Nitrate in the curing process. At extremely high temperatures, these Nitrates can be converted into Nitrosamines, which can be harmful. We use Nitrates in the curing process for our bacon, hams, and other smoked products. Because we smoke these products at low heat for a long amount of time (instead of quickly at high heat), Nitrosamines are less present. Nitrosamines can be avoided by observing correct cooking methods and by not burning meat products. Lastly, the formation of Nitrosamines is inhibited by Vitamin C, another important component of a healthy diet.
Are the pork, beef, and poultry you use for your products Amish-raised?
Some is and some is not. For example, some of our chicken comes from Gerber Poultry, which relies on a group of cage-free chicken farmers, some of whom are Amish. Our Turkey, meanwhile, comes from Sensenig Farms of Lancaster County, which is Mennonite owned and operated. Our beef and pork is sourced from neighboring counties and states, and is not necessarily Amish raised.
Do you slaughter your own pork, beef, chicken, and turkey?
As of 2009, we no longer do our own slaughtering. Because slaughtering takes up time and space, it can be difficult to both slaughter and keep up with the demands of production. Instead, we rely on trusted sources, such as those mentioned above, for the fresh pork, beef, and poultry needed for processing. We monitor for freshness and temperature every step of the way to ensure that our standards of quality are maintained.
Is your pork, beef, and poultry local?
Most of our pork, beef, and poultry comes from either Lancaster or neighboring counties and states, with the bulk of our chicken coming from Ohio and the Mid-Atlantic region.
Can I freeze your products?
Yes! Our products are good frozen for up to six months. Our products can be safely refrozen upon reception. You CAN refreeze meats that have thawed out. For more information, see this article published by the USDA.
How long should I cook your products?
Different products require different temperatures and cook times. Our smoked hams, for example, only require warming up while our Ring Bologna is fully cooked and ready to eat. More information can be found on individual product pages.
Is your beef grass-fed?
Mostly no. Grain-fed beef is richer in taste and texture, and is also less costly for the consumer.
Is your poultry raised cage-free?
Yes. We contract with poultry suppliers who raise their flocks in cage-free barns that we have visited and inspected ourselves.
Are your products gluten-free?
All of our sausages, smoked meats, and our Scrapple is gluten-free. Our baked goods, hamloaf, and many of our bulk items do contain gluten, however.
Do you use MSG in your products?
With the exception of our Smoked Kielbasi and Ring Bologna products, we do not use MSG.
Are there any allergens in your products?
Some of the peanut butter products we sell online contain nuts (nut allergen). Some of our sausages and bologna products contain cheese (lactose). Our hamloaf contains bread (gluten). These are the only instances of a known allergen present in our products.
Can I order ahead of time?
Absolutely. Just let us know in your order notes when you would like us to ship out your product. We will hold off on shipping until that date.