SQM Products "Nitty Gritty" PAGE
WELCOME! You’ve landed at the SQM Products Nitty Gritty Page. Here we not only spill the beans about how the sausage gets made BUT what it gets made in, plus other helpful tidbits such as product allergen and ingredient info, cooking instructions and safe cooking and handling temperatures. We take our product safety and integrity as seriously as we take raising our livestock. We hope you find the information on this page interesting and useful and that it helps you use and enjoy our products with confidence!
Common Product Questions:
All of our value-added and prepared products contain ingredients on their labels. If you cannot find ingredients or have a question about an ingredient we encourage you to reach out and contact us directly.
We include all direct allergen information on individual product labels. All of our products are produced at our Hardwick Butchery where we do use ingredients from all of the major allergen categories including tree nuts, peanuts, fish and shellfish from time to time. We take great care to make sure proper food safety protocols are followed to avoid cross contamination, but believe in full transparency and cannot guarantee that any of our products are allergen free. It is your individual responsibility to judge and assess product safety based on your allergen risk. In all cases- if you have a serious food allergy we suggest that you inform us or notify an SQM representative before making your purchase so we can discuss your specific allergy and share our food preparation practices.
Yes and No. Our main goal is to source ingredients from local and sustainable sources. In most cases we go directly to our farm partners and are blessed to be located in such a farm-rich region with so many fabulous locally grown and produced ingredients. Some of these ingredients are organic and some are not. The most important thing in our eyes is that we know and trust where they come from.
Aghhhh- this is exactly how I feel when I read a food label on any typical processed food item. Our goal is to keep the ingredient list short, sweet and readable. We NEVER use preservatives or fillers of any kind in our products.
Sugar- When we can we avoid it. That being said, we do use sugar in some of our recipes such as bacon and ham and some of our sausages. What we can tell you is that we’re committed to clean ingredients and transparent labels. We keep our sugar use to a bare minimum. Products that contain sugar are labeled accordingly.
Seed Oils- We’re on a mission to eliminate all seed oils from our ingredient lists. While at this moment it’s still a work in progress we are happy to report we’re getting close. As you may know they sneak in on so many ingredient lists which is why we are working to source whole ingredients as close to the source as possible.
Nitrates- You can find more detailed info about our nitrate use on our main FAQ page, but YES in some products we use nitrates. Nitrates are used as a food safety measure to prevent dangerous bacterial growth in cured and smoked products such as our bacon and ham products. Nitrates also enhance the color and flavor of these products. We use nitrates in our products according to strict USDA guidelines.
The better question is what is NOT is our sausages? We’re very proud of the fact that all of our sausages are hand-made in small batches using our own pasture-raised meats and local fresh seasonal ingredients and spices. We NEVER use artificial ingredients, binder, preservatives or fillers. Because we like to color outside the lines from time to time with our sausage flavors- you will find some pretty interesting ingredients you may not be used to seeing on your sausage label such as pickles, coffee, kimchi and beets. We do use ingredients that contain allergens such as cheese, beer, bread crumbs, soy sauce, peanuts and nuts as well as other ingredients that may pose potential cross contamination risk such as Worcestershire sauce. We follow strict sanitation and food safety procedures while making our sausages, but our sausages are all made using the same equipment.
If you have a food allergy or a dietary restriction we strongly encourage you to notify our team before making a purchase.
What’s on the outside of our sausages is as important as what’s inside them! We’re really proud to share that we source our natural casings- pig and sheep directly from the only source in the United States. The majority of natural casings are processed in China. We’ll just leave it at that…
Our pot pies can be cooked from frozen or fully thawed. For best results we recommend cooking from frozen.
Remove pot pie from plastic packaging and place on a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake for the following times:
• Individual: bake 40-45 minutes or until crust is golden and the pie filling bubbles
• Family: bake 55-60 minutes or until crust is golden brown and the pie filling bubbles
**Reduce cooking time if baking a thawed pie For a darker crust we suggest preparing an egg wash (egg mixed with a teaspoon of water) and brushing on the crust.
Our meatballs are par cooked and simply need to be reheated lightly to serve. To do this we suggest the following methods:
•Simmering on low heat in sauce
•Placing in a baking dish or oven proof pan with a small amount of liquid in the bottom, covered and heated on low heat- 300 degrees until warmed through.
We want everyone to enjoy our meats SAFELY. Below is a chart of suggested minimum cooking temperatures published by the USDA. Click here for more information on cooking temperatures
On average we recommend consuming or freezing your meat within 7 days of its arrival. That being said, not all meat and poultry cuts are equal in terms of handling and shelf life. To help you plan how to use your purchases, we recommend (providing the vacuum seal is in good condition):
•Poultry should be consumed or frozen as soon as possible.
•Fresh pork and lamb cuts should be used or frozen within 5-7 days of delivery.
•Beef is a different beast and generally has a longer shelf life. Whole muscle cuts (not ground) should be used or frozen within 10 days of delivery. Grinds should be used or frozen within 5 days of delivery. All of our meats are packaged in vacuum sealed packaging and can be safely kept in your freezer for 6 months or longer.
This answer may surprise you, but YES- it’s perfectly fine to refreeze meat providing proper food safety procedures have been followed and maintained. The USDA offers the following advice: “Once the food is thawed in the refrigerator (40℉), it is safe to refreeze it without cooking, although there may be a loss of quality due to the moisture lost through thawing.” After cooking raw foods that were previously frozen, it is safe to freeze the cooked foods. If you believe the temperatures didn't drop below average refrigerator settings, we suggest you refreeze. If you are concerned about any of your products, we suggest cooking them and then freezing. Read more about freezing and food safely.