Questions and Answers

We are happy to take your questions. Send us an email using the buttons below, depending on the nature of your question.

Before you reach out, you might also want to check out the answers we provide below for questions we commonly receive from customers.

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Frequently Asked Questions

No, University farms raise animals using conventional industry practices to give students a realistic training on how the agriculture industry works. By using the latest in technology, we can ensure that our students are prepared to be leaders in the animal agriculture industry. We also can be sure that we are producing meat in the most sustainable way possible. 

Yes. In fact, all meat is free of antibiotics. This is because animals treated with antibiotics must undergo a withdrawal period before they can be used for food. The animals we source for meat in the salesroom are raised under conventional conditions where antibiotics are used at the direction of veterinarians to keep animals healthy and safe. 

Most of our animals are sourced from the university farms south of campus, which are managed by the Department of Animal Sciences. There are two pig farms, the Swine Research Center and the Imported Swine Research Laboratory, both located on South First Street. The Beef Farm and the Poultry Research Farm are both located on south Race Street. If we do not have animals available on our university farms, then we work with local processors to find additional sources of meat when needed.

The nutritional content of the eggs is the same, the only difference is the color of the shells. At some stores, brown eggs may cost more because it takes more feed to raise the chickens that lay brown eggs.

Eggs are produced at the University of Illinois Poultry Research Farm. They are fresh, local, and collected by students from our farm to your table. Our 3,000 hens are housed in high-tech facilities proven to keep them safe and their eggs clean. 

Eggs are nest-run. This means that they are not cleaned before they are brought to the sales room. They are picked and directly put into the flats. We recommend cleaning the eggs with cold water and a soft brush. Please be sure to wash hands after cracking eggs.

No. Our cured and smoked items are fully cooked and ready to eat. Heating them up will provide a better eating experience.

Meat contains a muscle protein called myoglobin. The state of this myoglobin determines the color of the meat. When myoglobin is exposed to oxygen, meat is a bright red color. Vacuumed packaged meat may appear a darker red or purple. Sometimes, the myoglobin becomes oxidized turning it a brown color. This oxidation is not harmful to you and does not indicate your meat has gone bad. 

Use the meat within in one or two days, or reseal in a freezer bag.

Meat wrapped in paper or on trays should be used or frozen within 3-4 days of purchase. Vacuum-sealed meat can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week after purchase. 

Cooked products like ham, bacon, and sausages are good up to a week after sell by date.

By default, all items are frozen, except for cooked product. Frozen items will be indicated as such in the description. 

However, if you miss your pick-up window, your entire order will be placed in the freezer. 

The safest way to thaw meat is in the refrigerator. Most thin-cut items can take 8-12 hours. Thicker-cut items may take up to 24 hours. Larger roast may take up to 36-48 hours.

If you are in a pinch to thaw steaks, chops, etc. for dinner, run item under room temperature or colder water. Never run hot water on frozen meat.

We are working on gift certificates in time for the holidays. Check back with us soon!

If you have a previously purchased paper gift certificate, please contact us and we can give you a code to redeem on the website. We will schedule a time for you to drop off the paper gift certificate for verification. You have the option of getting the balance as one promo code, or to break it up into multiple codes of varying increments.