Let’s get real.
Your questions. Our answers. Simple.
What does “real ingredient” mean?In Canada, “real ingredient” is an ingredient that is not an imitation or substitute. They can also be called “true” or “genuine”.
What does “simple ingredient” mean?A simple ingredient is an ingredient that is familiar, commonly recognized, readily available, with no artificial colours or flavours.
What does “natural ingredient” mean?In Canada, a “natural ingredient” is an ingredient that was not significantly changed, fortified, and does not contain artificial colours, flavours or food additives.
Why aren’t all of your products made with real, simple or natural ingredients yet?Some of our classic Maple Leaf products have more complex flavour profiles and it can take a much longer time for us to match that flavour using only real, simple or natural ingredients. It is important to us to make them with real, simple, or natural ingredients without affecting taste. By the end of 2018, all Maple Leaf branded products (including Canned Meats and Big Stick bologna) will be made with only real, simple or natural ingredients.
What does spice mean?Some of our products use a combination of different spices to create their complex flavours. Instead of listing out each individual spice, we combine and list them as “spice” in our ingredient lists. For example, paprika, ginger and rosemary would all be listed under ‘spice’ in a Maple Leaf Top Dogs wieners.
Do you ever use garlic powder and onion powder? If yes, in what?Yes, we use garlic and onion powder in all of our Maple Leaf Top Dogs wieners, Maple Leaf Bologna, and Maple Leaf Natural Selections Pepperoni.
Are your new products more healthy? Less processed? Better for me and my family?Our goal is to make our food with only real, simple or natural ingredients, while still delivering the classic Maple Leaf taste. We still produce our products as we have always done, but we have removed all artificial flavours, preservatives, colours and sweeteners. The only ingredients left are real, simple or natural ingredients you can pronounce.
Why are your canned meats not natural yet?We haven’t made natural canned meats before, so we want to make sure that we make the best product using natural, real and simple ingredients.
Do your products contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs)?We can’t guarantee whether or not a product contains GMOs. Use of GMOs is deeply embedded in North American agriculture and so pervasive in the market that ingredients aren’t readily identifiable as being genetically modified. For more information please read Health Canada’s Mandate.
Animal welfare and industry
Does Maple Leaf own any poultry growing operations in Canada?We do not largely own poultry growing operations but are one of Canada’s largest poultry processors and proudly support Canadian poultry farmers. All of our products are produced in federally registered and inspected establishments operating under the highest standards of food safety.
Where can I get more info on the treatment and healthcare of Maple Leaf’s animals?Please find a wealth of information on Maple Leaf’s animal care commitment on our sustainability page.
How do you treat your animals?We’re committed to enhancing our animal wellness practices in a manner that advances the Five Freedoms, the most widely accepted global standard for responsible animal care.
Handling and safety
I have an allergy. How do I know if your product is safe for me to eat?Our products are made in multiple facilities and we are always changing and improving them. We take allergens very seriously, and strongly recommend you look at the label every time. We do not have a nut-free or gluten-free list for this reason.
How do I read the production code on the product I purchased?Production codes indicate the date that a product was made, represented by a Julian code: the number of days since the first day of the year. For example: 156 would represent June 5, since it’s the 156th day of the year.
Where can I find more information on the proper handling for your products (storing, cleaning, etc.)?Please check out our Food Safety at Home page.
Can you refreeze hot dogs that were thawed in the refrigerator?Hot dogs can be thawed in the refrigerator and refrozen once. So before refreezing, divide the hot dogs into single-use amounts.
Where do I insert the meat thermometer to check for the temperature?Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer deep into thickest part, taking care not to touch any bones or fat.
Once the package is opened, how long can I keep my product and still eat it?As long as the meat has been refrigerated right away and wrapped well to keep it from drying out, it can be stored up to the days specified below:
- Cooked ham – up to 3-4 days
- Bacon - up to 7 days
- Raw sausage – up to 1-2 days
- Pre-cooked sausage links or patties – up to 7 days
- Opened hot dogs – up to 7 days
- Opened deli meat – up to 3-5 days
Hormones and antibiotics
Where can I get more information about the use of antibiotics in poultry?You can find more info at chicken.ca.
Does the use of antibiotics in animals present a health risk to humans?According to research studies, the use of approved veterinary antibiotics in animals does not present a major health risk to humans.
Do you use antibiotics as a preventative measure to stave off infections?In Canada, approved veterinary antibiotics may be given to poultry flocks to reduce and prevent disease outbreaks, and to prevent any potential food safety problems. Please find the facts on our info sheet.
Are your products hormone free?The use of growth-enhancing hormones in pigs and poultry are banned in Canada. No hormones have been added to our products, however, they cannot be called hormone-free as animals have naturally occurring hormones in their bodies.
Made for families
No fake food. Only simple ingredients that we'll never hide.