ConAgra Foods: Frequently asked questions

If you have a question about ConAgra Foods products, nutrition information, recipes or other topics, please select from the categories below and browse the questions and answers.

Product Information

How do I know animals are treated properly in the making of your food?
The only way to deliver quality food is to follow quality procedures, and that includes how farm animals are raised and processed. We believe in the humane treatment of animals. It's the right thing to do, and it plays a key role in the quality of our food.

Our Supplier Quality Program outlines specific expectations for appropriate animal care, and we encourage all of our suppliers to purchase only from farms that comply with industry guidelines, including those established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food Marketing Institute.

What are genetically modified organisms (GMO), and is it safe to eat food if it includes GMO ingredients?
Visit our dedicated page on GMO to learn more.

What is the date code?
The date code is the string of numbers and letters coded onto a package that indicate the date of production, not the expiration date.

What does the "Best By" or "Sell By" expiration date mean?
"Best By" dates and other similar terms (e.g., "Use By," "Best If Used By," "Sell By," etc.) are used to inform consumers about the shelf lives of our products so that they will know how long they can expect their products to last. A "Best By" date is laser printed on our products. We recommend that you consume the product before its "Best By" date expires.

Why doesn't my local grocery store have my favorite product?
Individual retailers make the final decisions about which products they will sell. If you cannot find a specific product you're looking for, ask your retailer to begin carrying it for you. To find stores in your area that may carry the product, please visit our Store Locator, and search based on your location.

Does the packaging of your food contain BPA?
Bisphenol A, or BPA, is one component of the thin, flexible lining found inside food metal cans. At ConAgra Foods, we only use BPA as part of the liner inside some of our cans, and it is the type of liner safely used by the vast majority of the food and beverage industry. We use this type of plastic lining to better protect the safety and quality of the canned foods we make. For example:

  • Using this thin lining inside our canned foods extends their shelf life by preventing the food inside the can from spoiling, and it also helps prevent corrosion inside the can itself.
  • This thin lining also helps protect the taste of many foods. Without this lining on the inside of cans, foods might have a "tinny" taste that most consumers find distasteful.

Is it safe to eat your food that is packaged using BPA?
We remain confident in the safety of all our food, including canned items that utilize liners made with BPA. We comply with and will continue to comply with all applicable food and packaging safety requirements and regulations.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not recommend that families change their use of canned foods, including infant formula and other foods, as the benefit of a stable source of good nutrition outweighs any potential risk from BPA exposure. For those consumers who wish to reduce or minimize their exposure to BPA, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has posted recommendations on its website, which can be accessed here.

Do you make any food without BPA packaging?
We have begun packaging some canned foods, specifically tomatoes, in non-BPA-lined cans, and we will continue to evaluate non-BPA liners for the remainder of our canned-food portfolio. Additionally, ConAgra Foods does not use the type of plastic that is made from BPA for our frozen meal trays or other foods with plastic packaging. The companies that manufacture the plastic frozen meal trays ConAgra Foods uses have certified that there is no BPA used in the manufacturing of the trays we use, nor in the manufacturing of the components that are used to make the trays themselves.

As an ongoing commitment to food safety and quality, we are constantly looking for new and better ways to package our food. Any replacement for BPA-containing coatings will need to pass rigorous safety and quality testing before it would be accepted by ConAgra Foods for use in our packaging. We will continue to closely monitor any emerging regulations, as well as consumer expectations, regarding BPA use in food contact applications.

Can I reuse the plastic containers of your frozen meals?
No, you should not reuse these plastic containers, as they are not designed for multiple uses.

I have a food allergy. How do I know which products I can safely eat?
All major food allergens are shown on the ingredient list of our products and/or will be noted in a "Contains" statement just after the ingredient list.

Major food allergens, as defined by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, must appear on the packaging. These include eggs, fish, milk, peanut, shellfish (crustacean), soy, tree nuts and wheat. All major food allergen ingredients will be listed in the ingredient statement and will be noted in the “Contains” statement if they are included in flavorings or spice mixes.

Our recipes change from time to time, so we encourage you to check both the ingredient list and "Contains" statement each time you buy a product.

Visit our interactive Nutrition Navigator to get nutrition information about specific ConAgra Foods products.

What are your recommended microwave heating tips?
For safe microwave cooking tips, please see our Microwave Safety page.

Do you have a pathogen control program?
Yes, we do. We follow rigorous food safety practices in all of our food preparation and storage facilities. Our foodborne pathogen control program starts with making sure our buildings and equipment are cleaned and maintained, and that we have systems in place to keep out anything that could potentially contaminate our food.

Cleanliness is key to pathogen control. Cleaning our mixing, sifting, cooking, freezing and all preparation equipment, utensils, other food contact surfaces and floors is just as important to us as it is in your kitchen. We monitor our preparation and cleaning processes to ensure they are done properly. For example, it is critical that the right time and temperature are followed to ensure our canned foods are safe, just as it is in home canning. Testing for certain contaminants (pathogens) is also done — on ingredients, the equipment and the environment.

Training is also important. We train our team members to know how to clean and prepare our foods so that pathogens are controlled. And, of course, we have to have a great team. We have canning, food safety, sanitation, microbiology and chemistry experts on our team so that you can trust our food to be delicious and safe.

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Nutrition Information

What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein that comes primarily from wheat, but is also found in barley and rye. Oats don't contain gluten, but may come into contact with wheat, barley or rye, so oats should not be assumed to be gluten-free. We understand the importance of avoiding gluten for people with certain medically diagnosed conditions. Based upon scientific information, FDA draft guidelines and the World Health Organization Codex Alimentarius both consider a level of less than 20 ppm (parts per million) to be gluten-free. Our foods must meet this standard before carrying a gluten-free claim.

Do you have any gluten-free foods?
Yes, we do. We understand how important it is for people who have been medically diagnosed with gluten sensitivity to obtain accurate information about their food to help plan their meals and diets. We have reviewed our entire pantry of foods and have divided our foods into three groups: gluten-free, should not contain gluten but has not yet been validated as gluten-free, and contains gluten.

Our validated gluten-free foods include:

Brand Category Items
ACT II® Microwave popcorn All varieties
Orville Redenbacher's® Ready-to-pop popcorn in jars All sizes
Orville Redenbacher's Microwave popcorn All varieties except Two-Step Cheddar and White Cheddar
Orville Redenbacher's Ready-to-eat popcorn All varieties
Poppycock® Ready-to-eat popcorn Original, Apple Crisp, Pecan Delight, Chocolate Lovers and Cashew
Crunch 'n Munch® Ready-to-eat popcorn Caramel and Buttery Toffee
Fiddle Faddle® Ready-to-eat popcorn Caramel and Butter Toffee
Jiffy Pop® Pre-seasoned ready-to-pop popcorn All varieties
Egg Beaters® Pasteurized egg products All varieties
Hebrew National® Frankfurters and deli meats All items except Franks in a Blanket
Hunt's® Tomatoes All fresh-pack items, such as whole, diced, etc.
Peter Pan® Peanut butter All items
Reddi-wip® Whipped toppings All varieties
Swiss Miss® Cocoa mix All varieties
Swiss Miss and Snack Pack® Pudding All varieties except those containing tapioca

How do you know that your foods are gluten-free?
Our foods labeled as “gluten-free” undergo rigorous ingredient and preparation review, along with testing to validate that claim. We start by reviewing the label and our recipe to determine which ones should not contain gluten, and then talk to our ingredient suppliers. Next, we review our preparation and cleaning steps. Finally, we test the food to make sure it contains less than 20 ppm (parts per million) gluten.

Why can't you label a food item as gluten-free based on the ingredients listed?
Reviewing the ingredients listed on the label is only one step. Testing is required to further validate that a food item contains less than 20 ppm (parts per million) gluten and can carry a gluten-free claim.

What are the foods that shouldn't contain gluten, but haven't yet been validated as gluten-free?
Once we review the label, our recipe and the ingredient specifications to confirm that no gluten was added to a food, it falls into the “should not contain gluten” group. Foods that do not contain gluten but have not been validated as “gluten-free” may still be appropriate for those people with gluten sensitivities, but these products have not completed this rigorous review. Many of these foods are undergoing the final stages of our gluten-free validation, so continue to check our website for updates as more foods are added to the gluten-free list.

“Should not contain gluten” foods include:

  • Hunt's tomato paste and tomato sauces (except pasta sauces)
  • Hunt's ketchup
  • Wesson® oils
  • DAVID® sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds
  • PAM® cooking spray: All varieties except PAM Baking
  • Parkay®, Blue Bonnet®, Fleischmann's® and Move Over Butter® spreads
  • RO*TEL® tomatoes (except sauces)

Which of your products contain gluten?
For information about nutrition in specific ConAgra Foods products, visit our interactive Nutrition Navigator. Also, our product labels list common allergens, such as wheat, for those allergic to wheat gluten.

What are you doing to reduce the sodium content in your food?
In October 2009, we announced a pledge to reduce salt across our Consumer Foods portfolio by 20 percent by the end of 2015. Building on efforts that began in 2006, this objective will further reduce salt in our food each year. The scope of ConAgra Foods' sodium reduction efforts is broad and diverse, including as many as 20 brands, 160 food varieties and all temperature categories in the supermarket.

What is monosodium glutamate (MSG)?
Monosodium glutamate is used as a flavor enhancer, much like salt. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, MSG is a safe food ingredient for the general public, and a small percentage of people sensitive to MSG might have mild reactions when they eat foods with large amounts of MSG. The FDA requires that MSG is noted on food labels for products to which MSG has been added. Consumers who might have sensitivities are advised to check the ingredient list on each product package.

What is sodium erythorbate?
Sodium erythorbate is a man-made form of vitamin C. Sodium erythorbate helps keep the color of franks, ham and other cured meats stable. Sodium erythorbate and similar forms of vitamin C have been used in cured meat products for more than 30 years.

What is trans fat?
Trans fats are "transitional fats" between saturated and unsaturated fats, and can be present in hydrogenated oils and also, to a much smaller degree, in animal products such as meat and dairy products.

What is ConAgra Foods doing to reduce trans fats in its food?
Many of the foods we make are 0 grams trans fat. We believe we have been and continue to be leaders in making good-for-you food, and we took steps to remove partially hydrogenated oils from many foods we make years ago, including moving Orville Redenbacher's® popcorn to 0 grams trans fat per serving.

Part of ConAgra Foods' 'good for you' commitment is improving the heart healthfulness of our food. We already have more than 200 heart-healthy foods–meals and entrées, whole-grain popcorn, tomatoes, egg whites, plus beans and soups. We have proactively worked and will continue to proactively work in this area.

What is fat free?
According to U.S. nutrition labeling guidelines, a product that contains less than half a gram of fat per serving can be labeled "fat free."

Where can I find a product's nutrition information?
You can find nutrition information on the product package or individual wrapper, and on some brands' websites.

What is lactose?
Lactose, or milk sugar, is found in most dairy products such as milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, sour cream, etc. Some people are lactose intolerant, meaning they have difficulty digesting lactose. If you are lactose intolerant, the simplest solution is to read ingredient labels and avoid consuming foods with dairy product ingredients.

What is kosher?
Kosher is a Jewish term meaning "fit to eat" or "ritually pure." It is used to describe foods that are produced according to certain standards and are approved to be eaten by people of the Jewish faith. Packaged food products that are certified kosher might bear the symbol “U” or “K” with a circle around it. All food products from ConAgra Foods' Hebrew National® brand are certified kosher, as are several other products in our family of brands.

Do your products meet the standards for restricted diets?
A number of our food products, such as Egg Beaters® and Hunt's®, can fit into a restricted diet, and some, like Healthy Choice®, fit government guidelines for certain types of restricted diets. Generally, however, your doctor or dietitian should assist you in making food choices for a restricted diet.

What is a serving size?
A serving size is the amount of a food product or meal that has been deemed a usual or recommended amount for an average adult, unless otherwise indicated for children. This varies according to the product or recipe, but usually the label will indicate the weight, volume, or other quantity of a product that constitutes one serving. Serving sizes are regulated by the FDA and USDA to ensure consistency in nutritional labeling.

What is artificial sweetener? Aspartame?
Aspartame is a common sweetener marketed under the brand names NutraSweet® or Equal®. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1981. Other artificial sweeteners have been approved and are in use to a lesser extent. All artificial sweeteners are required to be listed on the label. Because our products are often reformulated, consumers who might have sensitivities are advised to check the ingredient list on the product package.

Are food additives safe?
All additives used by ConAgra Foods have been approved for general use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. ConAgra Foods follows the package-label requirements set by the FDA. Not all consumers react the same to all food ingredients. People who have or think they have conditions that might cause reactions to certain ingredients are advised to visit the FDA website, www.fda.gov, for more detailed information, or to read our product labels, which call out common allergens.

What are sugar alcohols?
Sugar alcohols are used as a substitute for sugar. While they're not really sugar, sugar alcohols do still contribute to carbohydrates. If you have a concern regarding carbohydrate intake, and question whether you should use a product, we recommend you contact your health professional.

What is modified food starch?
The modified food starch used in ConAgra Foods products is corn or potato starch unless otherwise stated on the ingredient label. The flour used in our products is often wheat flour and should be avoided by individuals with gluten sensitivities. Check a food product's label for a list of any allergens.

Looking for more information? Visit our interactive Nutrition Navigator to get nutrition information about specific ConAgra Foods products.

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Recipe Information

How do I search for recipes?
Visit our Recipes page to explore recipes for everything from appetizers to entrées, from ConAgra brands you love. You'll find quick-to-prepare solutions for your weeknight dinner dilemmas from ReadySetEat; fresh-from-the-garden tomato flavor in the Hunt's Signature Recipe Collection and much more.

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Coupons

What is an online coupon?
An online coupon is similar to an offline coupon that you may find in your local newspaper or retail grocery store, but it is printed by the consumer from his or her computer.

Where can I get an online coupon?
Please visit ReadySetEat™, a website with recipes made with ConAgra Foods brands where you'll find the latest coupons.

Other good sources for coupons are advertisements in newspapers and magazines, store rebates, and coupons or rebate offers included with the products themselves. Many times our brands offer coupons on our websites, which you can access by visiting the ConAgra Foods brands page, and clicking on the brand you're interested in.

What is coupon fraud on the Internet?
Coupon fraud includes the buying and selling of coupons, counterfeit or copied coupons and mis-redeemed coupons. Computers and the Internet have made committing fraud easier, and distribution of fraudulent coupons faster. The problem is fraud, not the medium used. To avoid counterfeit coupons, the Coupon Information Corporation recommends using coupons obtained from your newspaper, manufacture's websites or our authorized coupon distributors.

  1. Never pay money for a coupon
  2. Do not download coupons from Internet forums
  3. If a friend e-mails you coupons, especially high value or free product coupons, the coupons are most likely counterfeit

The coupon on my packaging has expired.
Coupon expiration dates are designed to encourage prompt redemption, and are not indicators of product shelf life. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience you may have been caused.

How can I opt in to occasionally receive coupons, sweepstakes, and promotional information via emails from ConAgra Foods?
Fill out and submit our registration form.

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Other Information

Where can I get an annual report?
Please visit the Investors section of the ConAgra Foods website. There you can view the report online using Adobe® Reader®. There is also a link for requesting single printed copies of the annual report.

Where can I find information about careers at ConAgra Foods?
Please refer to our career opportunities job postings page on our ConAgra Foods Careers website.

Does ConAgra Foods have e-mail newsletters that I can subscribe to?
Yes. Currently, some of our brands offer online newsletters to which you can subscribe via forms on their websites, or with this sign-up form.