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Reading Food Labels: Certified Humane Raised and Handled

Posted Aug 11 2009 8:54am
What do the labels on food, cosmetics, supplements or even clothes really mean?

The next few (actually 12) posts here on Whole Food and More will be about decoding food, skin care products, supplements, clothing and other everyday labels and knowing how important certain little stickers might be to you.

With health and environmental claims appearing in so many items it's easy to get lost in the sea of stamps, stickers and seals. I've picked 12 labels that I found all have a clear purpose and process behind the sticker.

The first label is:

The Certified Humane Raised and Handled ® program is a certification and labeling program that is the only animal welfare label requiring the humane treatment of farm animals from birth through slaughter. The goal of the program is to improve the lives of farm animals by driving consumer demand for kinder and more responsible farm animal practices. When you see the Certified Humane Raised and Handled® label on a product you can be assured that the food products have come from facilities that meet precise, objective standards for farm animal treatment.

The Certified Humane Raised and Handled® label assures consumers:

  • That the producer meets our standards and applies them to animals from birth through slaughter.
  • Animals have ample space, shelter and gentle handling to limit stress.
  • Ample fresh water and a healthy diet of quality feed, without added antibiotics or hormones.
  • Cages, crates and tie stalls are among the forbidden practices, and animals must be free to do what comes naturally. For example, chickens are ale to flap their wings and dust bathe, and pigs have the space to move around and root.


Producers must comply with food safety and environmental regulations. Processors must comply with the American Meat Institute Standards (AMI), a higher standard for slaughtering farm animals than the federal Humane Slaughter Act.

View HFAC’s Animal Care Standards Fact Sheets for consumers. The Fact Sheets provide information about specific humane issues as they relate to farm animals covered by the Certified Humane program.

Animal Care Standards were created by a highly respected scientific committee.

View the Standards

View the members of HFAC’s Scientific Committee

The standards are upheld through annual inspections conducted by scientists and veterinarians who are experts on the species they are inspecting. These are independent inspections of all farms, ranches and slaughter facilities.

Buy with confidence, the quality of the meat, poultry, egg and dairy products depends, at least in part on the quality of care farm animals receive. Certified Humane Raised and Handled® lets consumers choose products from farmers and ranchers that are providing humane conditions for animals in their care.

Look for the Certified Humane Raised and Handled label on:
Meat, Poultry, Eggs, and Dairy Products.

Thanks for reading, check back tomorrow for the next label. Will it be one you have seen?

Whole Food Vitamins


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