SALISBURY, Md. – Perdue Farms announced the company's approach to country-of-origin labeling (COOL) goes beyond federal requirements.

COOL requires chicken processors to let consumers know where chickens are hatched, raised and harvested for whole muscle cuts and ground chicken. The rule doesn't include cooked and other further-processed products that may be imported, and food companies aren't required to inform consumers if those further-processed chicken products are in the foods they buy, the company said.

“We are receiving more and more consumer inquiries about where our chickens are raised and processed. We fully support Country-of-Origin Labeling and transparency in origin, processing and further processing for poultry, and believe in helping consumers make informed choices,” said Jim Perdue, chairman. “We will continue to use only chicken raised on American farms and processed in America for Perdue brand products sold to American consumers.”

Perdue's existing Process Verified Programs include verification that all the chickens processed at its plants were raised in the US. The new “Raised Cage-Free in the US” Process Verified Program covers the brand’s further-processed products. The company said documentation for the Perdue brand’s Process Verified Programs provides audited traceability from the hatchery to the package. Additionally, Perdue's further processed chicken carries the company’s “Product of the USA” seal.

The new verification joins Perdue's existing Process Verified Programs, including “Raised Cage-Free,” “All-Vegetarian Diet” and “No Animal By-Products.”