Perdue Farms Inc. announced that it has received the U.S. Department of Agriculture Process Verified seal for its Perdue fresh, all natural whole chickens and bone-in parts, as well as Perdue Fit & Easy boneless, skinless chicken products. It is launching the product lines in North Carolina with a video contest, in which North Carolina consumers are invited to demonstrate their best recipe or techniques for preparing or serving chicken.

"The seal verifies our chickens are fed an all vegetarian diet, with no animal by-products. It also verifies they are raised cage free and humanely raised," said Jim Perdue, the company’s chairman. Perdue is the first chicken company to be allowed to make these claims on its product packaging using the USDA Process Verified seal. Jim Perdue added that the seal will help differentiate his company’s products in the minds of consumers.

The USDA Process Verified seal indicates that USDA has audited the company's processes behind the claims made on the product's packaging. "We are pleased to allow Perdue to use the USDA Process Verified Program seal in recognition of their adherence to their vegetarian diet and humanely raised process points," said Charles Johnson, poultry programs grading branch chief of USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service.

Products carrying the “humanely raised” claim are verified to come from birds raised in accordance with the Perdue Farms poultry welfare program, which is based in part on the poultry welfare guidelines of the National Chicken Council.