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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are your chickens organic?
A: Organic chicken is not used to make Lenard’s products. Organic certification is a complex process and Lenard’s is not a retailer of organic products.

Q: Do you supply free-range chicken?
A: Free-range chicken is not used to make the general range of Lenard’s fresh products. Hot roast chickens sold at some stores are free-range. If requested by customers and where demand can be demonstrated, some stores do sell fresh free-range chicken and this would be clearly identified by its packaging or signage. Free-range chicken is identified with the Free Range Egg and Poultry Association logo.

Q. Are chickens supplied to Lenard’s Halal Certified?
A. Lenard’s stores are not Halal Certified and do not sell any chicken products that can be deemed as Halal Certified products. Chicken supplied into our stores is prepared in the same environment as certain ingredients such as pork products which are not acceptable to those wanting Halal products and therefore cannot be Halal Certified.

Most, if not all, chicken from the major chicken processors in Australia are now Halal even if not stated as such. All national food retailers, including supermarkets chains, fast food outlets, butchers, cafes, restaurants and hotels etc. are all supplied with chicken from these major chicken processors who are Halal Certified. Lenard’s also has some ingredient suppliers who are Halal Certified due to their own business standards, however a Halal Certification is not a prerequisite in our supplier selection and approval process.

Q: Are the chickens that Lenard’s sell fed hormones?
A: The use of hormones (or steroids) was banned more than 40 years ago – and this ban is strictly enforced in Australia and around the world. Advertising that claims ‘no added hormones’ is not differentiating a product, but instead stating an industry-wide regulation.

Q: Are chickens fed something unnatural to make them grow faster?
A: Most of the change in how birds grow is thanks to specialist breeders overseas, who have selectively bred birds to grow more quickly and efficiently. Research into chicken’s precise nutritional requirements, better animal husbandry, housing, and improvements in healthcare, have also contributed to improving bird growth and to reducing the time it takes to get chickens to market size.

Q: Are chickens fed antibiotics for the purpose of making them grow faster and larger?
A: Antibiotics are used responsibly to treat and prevent diseases, not for the purpose of making chickens grow faster or larger. Only antibiotics that have been assessed for their safety and approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority for use in chicken meat are to be used, which ensures there are no antibiotic residues in the meat.

Q: What does Lenard’s mean by fresh?
A: Consumers generally consider chilled poultry as fresh as it has not been processed e.g. cured, canned, dehydrated, frozen. Chicken is delivered to Lenard’s stores as soon as it has been processed. You could say that the vast majority of Lenard’s is fresh, as it has not been frozen. The exception is the frozen hen meat used for mince mixes.

Q: Why does the chicken meat in some products remain pink after cooking?
A: Products containing thigh meat may remain pink after cooking. This is not a food safety risk.

Q: Is the Chicken Cordon Bleu cooked properly, it always turns out pink in colour?
A: The colour of the cooked product relates to the cut of chicken and the ham or bacon in the product. Chicken thigh has a darker colour than breast meat when cooked and it is common that the ham or bacon actually ‘colour fixes’ to the chicken – that sounds technical, but put simply, the pink of the ham or bacon makes the chicken look slightly pink when cooked. In addition it is common to have the ham or bacon ‘flavour fix’ into the chicken as well. This is actually what makes the Cordon Bleu so delicious! Poultry is cooked when liquid runs clear; pink liquid means the product is not cooked sufficiently.

Q: How long will my Lenard’s products last in the fridge?
A: Lenard’s products from our stores will remain fresh in your refrigerator for 48 hours from the time of purchase before they should be cooked or frozen. Refer to the best before date on our pre-packaged products.

Q: Are the chickens Lenard’s sell chemical free?
A: During the cleaning process, chicken carcasses are washed with water and that water generally contains small levels of chlorine. The chlorine kills bacteria in the water and regulatory authorities control chlorine levels. To maintain food safety and quality, poultry carcasses need to be chilled quickly. There are two general methods used for chilling raw poultry; spin chilling and air chilling. The majority of Australian processors use spin chilling and treated water is used in the chilling process. The water used for spin chilling must be chlorinated or contain an approved food grade sanitiser. The Australian Standard Construction of Premises and Hygienic Production of Poultry Meat for Human Consumption details how poultry should be produced in Australia. Poultry processing plants are licensed and inspected routinely by the relevant regulatory authority.

Q: Why don’t Lenard’s staff wear gloves in-store?
A: The products that Lenard’s sells are raw and require cooking prior to consumption. We promote the use of clean hands to handle and prepare raw chicken rather than disposable gloves. Stores are generally equipped with two designated hand washbasins; one located in the work area of the store and one at the front of the store. All hand washbasins are equipped with a Lenard’s approved liquid soap and paper towels. Disposable gloves are widely used in the food industry but unfortunately, they are also widely misused. Many food handlers put on disposable gloves then proceed to blow their nose, scratch their ears, handle money, clean up garbage, go to the bathroom, etc. without any thought to changing their gloves or washing their hands. Given the nature of chicken meat and the use of marinades and garnishes in the Lenard’s product range, hand washing between tasks is a much safer option. There is no regulatory requirement to wear disposable gloves to handle raw chicken.

Q: How much bacteria is in chicken?
A: As a raw meat, chicken contains significant levels of naturally occurring bacteria. Cooking kills bacteria and products are cooked and tested for bacteria levels before recommended cooking times and temperatures are added to the Lenard’s cooking guide. The times and temperatures recommended in the cooking guide ensure that any bacteria is killed.

Q: What bacteria is in chicken?
A: Raw chicken contains a wide range of bacteria – some harmless, and some that can cause illness and spoilage. Maintaining chicken at temperatures below 5ºC and cooking as per the cooking guide, reduces, and in the case of cooking, eliminates harmful bacteria. Raw chicken can contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli. Elimination of these bacteria forms part of the product cooking trials. Chilled storage below 5ºC and cooking reduces and/or eliminates harmful bacteria on chicken.

Q: What are the sugar levels of Lenard’s products?
A: Please refer to the Nutritional Information listed on each product page within the ‘Products’ section of this website.

Q: Are your products suitable for diabetics?
A: Nutritional Panels for all products are available in the ‘Products’ section of this website. Diabetics need to read the nutrition and ingredient labels and assess if the product is suitable for their specific dietary needs.

Q: Why are Lenard’s sausages salty?
A: On average, our sausages have a sodium content of 688mg/100g uncooked. Chicken is a milder flavoured meat than beef and pork so some individuals may taste salt where they otherwise would not if the sausage was made with another meat type with a similar salt content. Additionally, Lenard’s sausage meat does not contain fillers to extend the meat content, these ingredients may also mask the presence of salt. By way of comparison, nutritional data held by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) states that an uncooked chicken sausage has 695mg/100g.

Q: Why do Lenard’s products differ throughout your stores and stockists?
A: We offer more than 100 products, from fresh chicken to ready to heat chicken meals.  The Lenard’s shop window will be filled with the Franchise Owner’s choice of products from our extensive range. And supermarkets choose what products they wish to stock. If you are seeking a product that is not in the store window of your local Lenard’s, or at a supermarket stockist, please speak to staff and see if they can order the product in for you.

Q: What Lenard’s products are blander than others?
A: Lenard’s has more than 100 products designed to suit every palate. Your local store will be able to assist you in selecting products that suit your taste.

Q: Which Lenard’s products do not contain added gluten?
A: Please refer to Lenard’s Chicken Gluten Facts Sheet here.

Q: What does ‘sausage meat’ mean?
A: Sausage meat refers to minced chicken meat that has a sausage premix added for seasoning, binding and adding further shelf life.

Q: How much fat is contained in Lenard’s sausages?
A: Lenard’s sausages contain approximately 17% fat uncooked. By way of comparison, nutritional data held by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) states that a typical uncooked chicken sausage has 22.6g/100g of fat.

Q: What casings do Lenard’s use to make chicken sausages?
A: All casings used by Lenard’s (sometimes referred to as skins) are natural casings derived from pork.

Q: What Lenard’s products contain MSG?
A: None of Lenard’s fresh value-added products contain added MSG, although some ingredients used in the preparation of Lenard’s products do contain MSG. Commonly, products that contain ham or bacon may contain some MSG. Refer to the Allergens section on each product page of this website, or ask to view the Product Information Guide available in-stores.

Q: Is all chicken meat sold in Australia grown in Australia?
A: Yes. The chicken meat sold in Australia is all grown in Australia, as importing raw chicken meat is banned for quarantine reasons. From your local takeaway or supermarket, to your 5-star restauran,t you’ll only find Australian chicken.

Q: Do Lenard’s products contain genetically modified products?
A: An extensive check has been carried out on all Lenard’s approved ingredients. There are no ingredients approved for use in Lenard’s products that contain GM components. The labels of locally purchased ingredients are checked for GM statements, and if any are made the ingredient is not used in any Lenard’s products. Food Standards Australia New Zealand requires labelling of food materials that have been associated with genetic modification. Lenard’s products comply with this code. No Lenard’s products require GM labels.

Q: Should I be concerned about the Avian Influenza?
A: Avian influenza is not present in Australia. It is however quite widespread in some South-East Asian countries and China and has made its appearance in a range of other countries, most recently Turkey, Nigeria, Italy, Germany and France. Australian chickens are free of avian influenza and the industry has rigorous systems to keep it that way. Lenard’s stores (along with all Australian chicken meat retailers) exclusively retail Australian grown chicken throughout its over 300 outlets nationally, supporting approved local suppliers. Lenard’s Chicken suppliers have the utmost confidence in the quality and safety of their Australian poultry. Avian influenza is not in your food. If you’ve heard about avian influenza and you’re concerned about the safety of eating poultry products you can relax – it is safe to eat poultry products in Australia.For further information on Avian Influenza, please visit the Australian Chicken Meat Federations website: www.chicken.org.au

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