Frequently Asked Questions
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Choosing a fresh or frozen turkey depends largely on preference, but also on how soon you plan on cooking your turkey. Make the right decision for you by considering these general tips.
- Fresh turkeys are ready to prepare. Fresh turkeys are best if held in the refrigerator for 24 hours before final preparation.
- Frozen turkeys can be purchased weeks in advance, but need several days to thaw and require adequate space in your freezer and refrigerator. See our How To Thaw page for more information.
Also, check out our How to Choose guide to help you decide what’s best for you.
As a general rule, you can keep your Frozen Butterball Turkey in the freezer in its original packaging for up to 2 years and it should still be of good quality. Turkeys kept in commercial freezers, like those at grocery stores, may be kept even longer. Butterball uses a coding system known as the lot code system. An example of it has been provided below:
- 5026: Plant information
- 6: Last digit of the year the turkey was processed (in above example, the year is 2016)
- 229: Julian date (the 229th day of the year, and in 2016, the 229th day was August 16)
- 00: Code place holders
This number should be on the back of the Butterball tag. If the store has placed their sticker on the tag, you will need to peel it off to see these numbers.
Still need help? Download our Shelf Life Table for specific details by product.
All of the Butterball products are gluten free except for Butterball Stuffed Turkey (bread stuffing) and Butterball Frozen Meatballs. For our products that are packaged with gravy packets, the gravy packets are gluten free as well. The gravy contains rice flour instead of wheat flour and the modified food starch is corn based.
Turkey containing no artificial flavor or flavoring, coloring ingredient, chemical preservative, or any other artificial or synthetic ingredient and that is minimally processed (a process that does not fundamentally alter the product) may be labeled "natural." The label must explain the use of the term "natural" (e.g., no added colorings or artificial ingredients, minimally processed). Source: USDA
Butterball, LLC does not add MSG to any of its products. According to USDA regulations, MSG must be listed in the ingredient statement if it is add to food products.
The USDA requires that any of the top 8 allergens be listed on the packaging of our products. Example: Butterball products will say “contains wheat” or “contains milk”.
- Butterball whole turkeys (fresh and frozen), bone-in breasts and boneless roasts do not contain any of the top 8 allergens.
- We cannot provide a list of ingredients in the flavorings in our products because they are proprietary. If a consumer is allergic to a specific food other than one of the top 8, please call our Consumer Affairs team at 1-800-288-8372, select option 4.