Turkey can be purchased from a variety of sources, including:

  • Full-line foodservice distributors
  • Poultry distributors
  • Meat distributors
  • Turkey processors/distributors
  • Retail food stores (for small operations only)
  • Membership warehouse clubs
  • System specialists

In addition to supplying turkey, almost all of these sources provide marketing support services, product information, guidelines for preparation, recipe ideas, menuing and merchandising suggestions.

A supplier can provide optimum service when you provide information about your operation, such as:

  • Type of operation (restaurant, catering, club, healthcare, fast food)
  • Type of customer and menus
  • Food costs or budget requirements
  • Number of meals served
  • Frequency of purchase/menu cycles
  • Equipment available
  • Storage facilities
  • Labor available and skill levels
  • Special dietary needs (e.g., health, religious)
  • Planned product usage

Specifications - exact descriptions of the products needed in terms of grade, class, form, size, processing, amount, packaging and shipping - are the basis of wise purchasing. Many operations have their own specifications sheets or forms. Your supplier also can assist. The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, Poultry Division, can help you develop specifications, as described later in this section.


Sources of Supply
Processing Programs
USDA Inspection & Grading
Labeling Terms
Yield from Turkey

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