Whether you’re strolling down the supermarket aisle or perusing online grocers’ offerings ahead of Thanksgiving, you’re bound to see turkeys with a wide range of labels: “young,” “fresh,” “premium” and other distinctions that you may think you understand… but you probably don’t.
If you’re picky about what you eat, knowing what the labels mean can make a big difference — for example, just because a turkey is labeled “fresh,” that doesn’t mean it was slaughtered on the farm this morning and trucked down the street to the grocery store.
Our colleagues at Consumer Reports have explained the various labels in the past you may come across, as well as other outlets like NPR’s The Salt blog, which we also referenced for guidance.
Once you’ve settled on a size for your holiday bird, the guide below will be helpful in making your final choice:
Fresh: Again, this bird was not hanging out on the farm with his bros this morning, it just means the turkey has never been below 26°F. This label could also be, “Never Frozen.”
Frozen: Speaks for itself, mostly. This means poultry was held at 0°F or below. “Previously frozen” may also be used to mean the same thing.