Empire Announces New Chicken Labeling Policy
In response to recent allegations of deliberate mislabeling of their chickens, Empire Kosher Poultry has revamped its packaging and labeling policies. From the Jewish Star:
Empire will no longer sell chicken by the case, packed in ice. It will replace the fresh bulk “Ice Pack” product line with a factory-sealed line “where products will be bagged in branded retail-portion bags and sealed onsite at Empire,” according to Empire CEO Greg Rosenbaum. A security hologram will be added as well.Sounds like the new policy will prevent any margin for "clerical errors" in the labeling of retail chicken. On the other hand, I know many people who greatly enjoy the convenience of being able to buy the Empire brand (or at least what they assume is the Empire brand), repackaged by the retailer to their preference. I wonder whether the Empire-sealed and hologrammed packages will be packaged in the manner consumers are presently used to finding in the refrigerated cases (i.e., all thighs, all breasts without wings, drumsticks, chicken in 1/8ths or 1/4ths, or any of the other seemingly myriad permutations that can be found in a given local kosher supermarkets). If not, consumers who preferred Empire in the past will have to consider either giving up the convenience of their beloved specialty packaging - or their beloved Empire.
Rosenbaum said, “It’s very simple. If a package is not branded and does not include
the security hologram on the outside, it’s not guaranteed to be genuine Empire Kosher poultry on the inside.”
If a butcher elects to remove the factory seals, the poultry is not to be relabeled with the Empire name.