Frequently Asked Questions

How long can I freeze your products?

Products can be frozen for up to one year. However, most products are best if consumed within 6 months.

How are your hogs raised?

Check out Our Farmer videos here.

What is SQF?

SQF stands for Safe Quality Food. The SQF Program is a fully integrated food safety and quality management protocol designed specifically for the food sector. Developed over 10 years, it is designed specifically for the food industry with application at all links in the food supply chain. SQF Certification provides an independent and external validation that a product, process, or service complies with international, regulatory, and other specified standard(s). It also enables a food supplier to give assurances that food has been produced, prepared, and handled according to the highest possible standards. SQF is designed to support industry or company branded products. Suppliers design and implement customized management systems to demonstrate equivalence with GAP/GMP and other best practice programs. Achieving SQF certification indicates a supplier’s commitment to producing safe, quality food.

What is USDA Process Verified?

Salmon Creek Farms Natural Pork is USDA Process Verified for the following points:

  • All market hogs can be source-verified to Salmon Creek Farms Marketing Association partner farms.
  • Use of Paylean™ (Ractopamine) is prohibited in the production of Salmon Creek Farms Natural Pork.
  • No rendered animal proteins (including meat meal, bone meal, or blood meal) are used in the production of Salmon Creek Farms Natural Pork.
  • All hogs used in Salmon Creek Farms Natural Pork are sourced from PQA Plus certified producers.
  • Salmon Creek Farms Marketing Association performs meat quality evaluations.
The USDA Process Verified Program provides suppliers of agricultural products or services with the opportunity to assure customers of their ability to provide consistent quality products or services. It is limited to programs (or portions of programs) where specified process verified points are supported by a documented quality management system. The specified process verified points are identified by the supplier. The USDA Process Verified Program uses the International Organizations for Standardization’s ISO 9000 series standards for documented quality management systems as a format for evaluating program documentation to ensure consistent auditing practices and promote international recognition of audit results. Salmon Creek Farms Natural Pork will continue to maintain extensive documentation and undergo annual comprehensive audits by USDA AMS as part of the USDA Process Verification program. Learn more about USDA Processed Verified Program by visiting

Do any of your products contain MSG (monosodium glutamate)?

Our products do not contain MSG. Please check product labels for ingredient details as formulas can change from time to time.

What is a food allergy?

It is an adverse reaction to a food or food component that involves that body’s immune system. If you have questions or concerns about food allergens and our products, please contact us.

Do your products contain gluten?

Our products do not contain gluten in the form of wheat, rye, oats, and barley. Although our products are labeled in compliance with government regulations, you should always read the ingredient details on the label as formulas change from time to time. We do not presently identify or label any of the products we produce with the claim “gluten free”, but may re-evaluate this decision in the future.

Do your products contain nitrates or nitrites?

Per USDA regulations, sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite are not permitted in any kind of fresh pork sausage. On the other hand, cooked and cured meats like hams, hotdogs, pork smoked sausage, bologna and salami products contain sodium nitrite. USDA considers it a “restricted ingredient,” which means it is regulated and only allowed in very small amounts (in sodium nitrite’s case, 200 ppm ingoing). The process of cooking and smoking the cured meat actually uses up the ingoing nitrite: analysis of a finished product containing 200 ppm nitrite would typically have less than 10 ppm or less after the cooking process. Many people think nitrites are bad for them. Actually, USDA has found the opposite: Based on available evidence to date, nitrite as used in meat and meat products is considered safe because known benefits outweigh potential risks. In summary, our fresh pork sausages do not contain sodium nitrite, but each of or fully cooked and cured items do. Nitrite in meat:

  • Greatly delays development of botulism
  • Develops cured meat flavor and color
  • Retards development of rancidity, off-odors and off-flavors during storage
  • Inhibits development of warmed-over flavor
  • Preserves flavors of spices, smoke, etc.
Adding nitrite to meat is only part of the curing process. Ordinary table salt (sodium chloride) is added because of its effect on flavor. Sugar is added to reduce the salt’s harshness. Spices and other flavorings are often added to achieve a characteristic “brand” flavor. Most—but not all—cured meat products are smoked after the curing process to impart a smoked meat flavor. Sodium nitrite, rather than sodium nitrate, is most commonly used for curing. In a series of normal reactions, nitrite is converted to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide combines with myoglobin, the pigment responsible for the natural red color of uncured meat. They form nitric oxide myoglobin, which is a deep red color (as in uncooked dry sausage) that changes to the characteristic bright pink normally associated with cured and smoked meat (such as in wieners and ham) when heated during the smoking process.

What are your Social Media Contest Rules?

ENTRY: No purchase necessary to enter or win. ELIGIBILITY: This contest is open only to legal U.S. residents, over the age of 18. Employees of Independent Meat Company (along with its contractors, affiliates and subsidiaries) and their families are not eligible. Void where prohibited by law. Contestants residing in those areas where the contest is void may participate in the contest but may not win any prizes. This contest is only open to participants in the lower 48 states. WINNER SELECTION: Employees of Independent Meat Company will judge the contest. Submissions will be judged on their creativity and originality. All decisions of the judges are final. PRIZES: Winners will receive prizes and/or Independent Meat Company merchandise. WINNER NOTIFICATION: Winners will be notified within 14 days after the determination date. Inability to contact a winner may result in disqualification and selection of an alternate winner. GENERAL CONDITIONS: a. Participants hereby grant Independent Meat Company a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide license to broadcast, publish, store, reproduce, distribute, syndicate, and otherwise use and exhibit the Submission (along with their names, voices, performance and/or likenesses) in all media now known and later come into being for purposes of trade or advertising without further compensation. Participants represent and warrant that they have full legal right, power and authority to grant Independent Meat Company the foregoing license and if applicable, have secured all necessary rights from any participants in, and contributors to, their Submission in order to grant such a license. b. Independent Meat Company is under no obligation to use any Submission or return the Submissions to participants. c. Winners may be required to execute and return a Certificate of Eligibility, Consent and General Release form within 14 days of notification. Non-compliance within this time period may result in disqualification and selection of an alternate winner. Any income tax liability is the sole responsibility of the winner. USE OF CONTEST INFORMATION: All entries become the property of Independent Meat Company. Independent Meat Company reserves the right to use any and all information related to the contest, including submissions provided by the contestants, for editorial, marketing and any other purpose, unless prohibited by law. NOT ENDORSED BY FACEBOOK: By participating in this contest, you acknowledge that this contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook and release Facebook from any and all liability arising from or related to this contest. The information you are providing for this contest is being provided to Independent Meat Company and not to Facebook, and will be used to notify you if you have won, and to inform you about special offers from Independent Meat Company and our trusted partners. CONDUCT: All contest participants agree to be bound by these Official Rules. Independent Meat Company in its sole discretion reserves the right to disqualify any person it finds to be tampering with the entry process, the operation of its web site or is otherwise in violation of these rules. LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY: Independent Meat Company is not responsible for late, lost or misdirected email or for any computer, online, telephone or technical malfunctions that may occur. If for any reason, the contest is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention or technical failures of any sort, Independent Meat Company may cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the contest. Entrants further agree to release Independent Meat Company from any liability resulting from, or related to participation in the contest. WINNERS LIST: The names of the winner may be obtained by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Social Media Contests, Independent Meat Company, PO Box EE, Twin Falls, ID 83303.

What temperature should I cook my pork to?

The National Pork Board recommends cooking chops, roasts, loins, and tenderloin to an internal temperature of 145° F, followed by a three-minute rest. Ground pork should always be cooked to 160° F. Doneness for some pork cuts, such as small cuts that are difficult to test with a thermometer or large cuts that cook slowly at low temperatures, is designated as “tender.” Pre-cooked ham can be reheated to 140° F or even enjoyed cold, while fresh ham should be cooked to 145° F. Adhering to these pork cooking temperature guidelines will result in an optimum eating experience of enhanced flavor and safety. The National Pork Board follows the guidance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

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National Pork Board

The National Pork Board executes specific programs in the areas of promotion, research and education.  No funds are used for lobbying or to influence government policy.

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Check out their website for:

  • Recipes

  • Production Practices

  • Pork in the News

  • Meat's Role in Human Nutrition

National Pork Producers Council

The National Pork Producers Council works to ensure that the U.S. pork industry remains a consistent and responsible supplier of high-quality pork to domestic and international markets.

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Check out their website for:

  • Pork Facts

  • Pork in the News

  • Animal Health and Food Safety

  • Blogs (Mom at the Meat Counter, Farmer Bloggers, etc)

  • Scientific Articles regarding Pork Production

North American Meat Institute

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NAMI is a national trade association that represents companies that process 95% of red meat and 70% of turkey products in the U.S. and their suppliers throughout America.  Supporting the meat and poultry industry by educating, advocating, and influencing.

Check out their website for:

  • Scientific Research

  • Animal Health

  • Food Safety

  • Meat and Poultry Nutrition

  • Meat MythCrushers