Conagra Brands: Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a question about Conagra Brands products, nutrition information, recipes or other topics, please select from the categories below and browse the questions and answers.
The information shared in this section may not encompass newly acquired companies or brands. When Conagra Brands acquires a company or brand, we work diligently to ensure the ingredients, product and policies of the acquired entity meet our standards and expectations in a timely fashion.
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" expiration date mean?
"Best By" dates and other similar terms (e.g., "Best If Used By,") 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.
Does the packaging of your food contain Bisphenol A (BPA)?
All food made in Conagra Brands' facilities in the U.S. and Canada after July 30, 2015 is in non-BPA lined packaging. The company does import into the U.S. and Canada a small quantity of canned products with BPA liners and is working with supplier of these brands to convert to non-BPA liners.
The company on occasion may need to source products from contract manufacturers that do not have non-BPA or non-vinyl liner capabilities. If this occurs, we attempt to source the minimum quantity of products necessary until a longer term non-BPA or non-vinyl option is identified. Additionally, as Conagra Brands makes company acquisitions, canned products may be added to our portfolio which still contain BPA and/or vinyl coatings. We will maintain our commitment to discontinuing the use of BPA and vinyl in these products and work to identify a longer term non-BPA or non-vinyl option as quickly as possible.
Is your non-BPA lined packaged food labeled for consumers to identify?
No, but all of our canned food made in the company's facilities in the U.S. and Canada after July 30, 2015 is in non-BPA lined cans. As Conagra Brands makes company acquisitions, canned products may be added to our portfolio which still contain BPA and/or vinyl coatings. We will maintain our commitment to discontinuing the use of BPA and vinyl in these products and work to identify a longer term non-BPA or non-vinyl option as quickly as possible.
Can I reuse the plastic containers of your frozen meals?
The plastic frozen meal trays we use are not made with BPA, but are designed to heat the frozen meal inside the package only once. They cannot be reused as they are not designed for multiple uses.
How do I know animals are treated properly in the making of your food?
Conagra Brands requires its suppliers to implement humane procedures in support of the five freedoms of animal welfare at all times, including when animals are raised, cared for, transported, and processed. Conagra Brands requires that suppliers provide an environment that is free from stress, cruelty, abuse, and neglect throughout the life of the animal. Our Supplier Code of Conduct includes compliance with additional commodity-specific policies, goals and standards for responsible animal housing and care, and we report on animal welfare in our annual Citizenship Report.
Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst, by ready access to water and a diet to maintain health and vigor.
- Freedom from discomfort, by providing an appropriate environment.
- Freedom from pain, injury and disease, by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
- Freedom to express normal behavior, by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and appropriate company of the animal's own kind.
- Freedom from fear and distress, by ensuring conditions and treatment that avoid mental suffering.
Has Conagra Brands made any commitments on cage-free eggs?
We are committed to using 100 percent cage-free eggs throughout our U.S. and Canada operations by 2025.
What are genetically modified organisms (GMO), and is it safe to eat food if it includes GMO ingredients?
We agree with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and numerous trusted scientific bodies and regulatory agencies that foods and beverages containing genetic modification (GM) of ingredients are safe and nutritious to eat. Given the potential for GM to improve the quality, sustainable availability and nutritional value of food, we support its responsible use when based on sound science and regulatory and safety reviews. Visit our dedicated page on GMO to learn more.
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.
For the US these include eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, 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.
For Canada these include eggs, fish, milk, peanut/tree nut, mollusk shellfish (clams, oysters, squid), crustacean shellfish (shrimp, crab), soy, wheat, sesame, sulfites, & mustard.
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.
Do you have a pathogen control program?
We have extensive pathogen control programs in place at our manufacturing facilities which are built on a foundation of cleanliness - the key to pathogen control. Our buildings and equipment are thoroughly cleaned and maintained on a routine basis in addition to cleaning our mixing, sifting, cooking, freezing and all preparation equipment including utensils, other food contact surfaces and floors is just as important to us as it is in your kitchen.
We closely monitor our cleaning and preparation processes on a routine basis to ensure they are completed properly. For example, time and temperature are critical measures in canning food to ensure products are safe, just as in home canning. We also monitor the environment, which involves testing for certain pathogens - on equipment, work surfaces and even some ingredients.
Training is extremely important. We train our employees to know the proper way to clean and prepare our products so pathogens are controlled. Microbiologists, sanitarians, food safety professionals and chemistry experts are just a few of the members on our teams, so you can trust our products to be safe and delicious.
What does Conagra Brands do to ensure the safety of the food it makes?
Food safety is our number one priority. We are committed to deliver on the food industry's highest food safety and quality standards. We operate in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, including the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). FSMA was signed into law back in January 2011 creating the most expansive update to U.S. food laws since the enactment of the 1938 Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
As a major food company, we continually evaluate new and emerging food safety protocols. We invest in new equipment, technology and best-in-class processes at our manufacturing facilities. We stay on the cutting edge of food safety science by collaborating with external scientists in the food industry who develop new food processing techniques, pathogen testing methodologies, ingredient innovations and sanitary designs for equipment.
What evaluation processes and third parties does Conagra use to ensure that its food safety objectives are met?
Conagra Brands has an extensive checks and balances system to monitor and audit the safety and quality of our food. We have adopted the industry-recognized Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) food safety system at all of our production facilities, and each facility is certified by major Global Food Safety (GFSI) third-party auditors. The GFSI auditors routinely evaluate our facilities for compliance with their food safety standards during unannounced inspections.
We are also adopting the new standards of the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations that are specifically focused on food safety systems.
How are Conagra Brands employees involved with food safety?
At Conagra Brands, we employ a wide array of technical experts who make up our food safety, quality, consumer affairs, and regulatory affairs teams - from microbiologists, sanitarians, quality professionals, thermal processing, engineering, auditors and more. Within our production facilities there are policies and procedures as well as food safety programs that create a framework for our food safety and quality teams to identify, manage and quickly address risk and effectively take corrective actions.
What systems and certifications do you require from your suppliers?
We hold our suppliers to the same high standards which guide our business. We require suppliers to be Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certified and audit against these standards annually. This global certification evaluates our plants and our suppliers, against global food safety standards and ensures our suppliers have the appropriate food safety processes, personnel and systems in place. In addition to GFSI certification, Conagra Brands has an internal audit team made up of food safety and quality professionals who evaluate our plants and associated suppliers on a routine basis against our internal standards.
What capabilities does Conagra Brands have to trace food throughout the supply chain?
Conagra has full traceability, from knowing who our ingredient suppliers are and where their products come from, to making our food and shipping it to retailers and food service establishments.
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 rules 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, our products will state on the label whether or not it's gluten free. 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. Foods that have been validated as gluten-free will contain a “gluten-free” statement on the label. Other products may not contain gluten but have not yet been verified as gluten-free; these products will not contain a “gluten-free” statement.
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 verify 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 verify that a food item contains less than 20 ppm (parts per million) gluten and can carry a gluten-free claim.
Which of your products contain gluten?
Our product labels list common allergens, such as wheat, for those allergic to wheat gluten. Foods that have been validated as gluten-free will contain a “gluten-free” statement on the label. Other products may not contain gluten but have not yet been verified as gluten-free; these products will not contain a “gluten-free” statement.
What guides your approach to arriving at the sodium levels in your products?
At Conagra Brands, the food we make provides choices for every occasion. Our product portfolio offers a wide range of sodium levels with options that satisfy individual taste preferences and personal health goals. We provide consumers with the resources they need to make educated food choices and are transparent about the nutritional values of the foods we make on the nutrition label for each product. In addition, we have approximately 5,000 pages live on smartlabel.org, where you can find information on the nutrition, ingredients, and allergens across a variety of Conagra products.
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 Conagra Brands doing to reduce trans fats in food?
In 2015, the FDA announced that food companies have three years to remove PHOs from food products unless the particular use of PHO is permitted by a food additive petition currently under review by the FDA. We have removed PHOs from all Conagra Brands produced in the U.S. and Canada.
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 Brands' 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?
Your doctor or dietitian should assist you in making food choices for a restricted diet. 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. Five other artificial sweeteners also are approved for use including: Saccharin, acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), sucralose, neotame, and advantame. 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 Brands have been approved for general use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Conagra Brands 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.
How do I search for recipes?
Visit ReadySetEat™ to find thousands of inspired ideas for every occasion. From appetizers to sides and dinners to desserts, you'll find a lot to love in these delicious, nutritious recipes—from our kitchen to yours.
Where can I get an online coupon?
Unfortunately, we don't have any free samples or coupons. However, retailers who carry our products may run special promotions and discounts in store or online, so keep your eye out for those.
What is coupon fraud on the Internet?
Coupon fraud includes the buying and selling of stolen 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 directly from your newspaper, manufacturer's websites or our authorized coupon distributors.
- Never pay money for a coupon.
- Do not download coupons from Internet forums.
- If you receive a coupon via e-mail from another individual, especially high value or free product coupons, the coupons are most likely counterfeit.
- Social media groups that use terms like AIPs, glittering, Darkside (DS), and/or coupon balancing are likely advocating fraudulent activities.
Where can I get an annual report?
Please visit the investor section of the Conagra Brands 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 Brands?
Please refer to our career opportunities job postings page on our Conagra Brands careers website.