When you care about the foods you put into your body, you’re bound to have some questions. We’ve included answers to things people often ask. Can’t find what you’re looking for, feel free to contact us.
Q: Without a pull tab, how will I know if my product has been tampered with?
A: There is a clearly visible tamper evidence ring below the cap, and you’ll be able to hear the click of a new cap (similar to a plastic water bottle).
Q: How does the one-step work?
A: Simply unscrew the cap and pour. When you twist the cap, it cuts a half circle in a thin lining of the packaging, keeping part of the lining intact. Since there’s no pull tab, the cap cuts right through the lining that keeps our products safe and shelf-stable. You’ll see this cut extra lining still attached to the top of the package, hanging to the side. This way, you know it hasn’t fallen into the product.
Q: When I open the product why don't I see a foil seal?
A: When you twist the new easy-open cap one full turn, it activates a secondary cutting mechanism that cuts straight through the inner seal to the product. The inner seal isn't visible but remains attached just underneath the opening and doesn't fall into the product. So, we didn't just get rid of the pull tab, it's a whole new process for the easiest open possible!
Q: Are your cartons BPA free?
A: Yes, all of our products are BPA free.
Q: Can Pacific Foods of Oregon packages be recycled?
A: Yes, our containers are recyclable. The plastic resealable cap is recyclable with #5 plastics. You will need to check with your local recycling center to confirm that the container is recycled in your area. To learn more about recycling information in your area, check out The Carton Council.
Q: I noticed that when I look into the aseptic carton there is aluminum lining. Does this aluminum come in contact with the products?
A: No. The product is not exposed to the aluminum lining; rather two layers of polyethylene shield it. The aluminum is important for protecting the product from air and light, eliminating the need for preservatives or refrigeration. In total there are 6 layers that make up the aseptic package. From the outside in they are: polyethylene, paper, polyethylene, aluminum foil, polyethylene and polyethylene.
Q: Are the cartons microwaveable?
A: No. The cartons are not microwave safe.
Q: Can you freeze your products?
A: We do not recommend freezing our non-dairy beverages because there may be settling or separation of product once it is thawed. If you need to freeze broth, please transfer the liquid to a freezer/microwave safe container.
Q: How long is the product good once it has been opened?
A: Most of our products are best when refrigerated and used within 7-10 days after opening. The unused portion must be refrigerated.
Q: How long will the product last in my cupboard, unopened?
A: Best if used by the date code on the package. However, we usually say that if the products unopened, with no packaging issues (no bloating, damage etc.) then the product should be good for six months after the best if use by date.
Processing and Allergen Handling Information
Q: Are your drinks pasteurized?
A: Yes. Actually our products are homogenized and sterilized which takes the product to a higher temperature than standard pasteurization. The product is brought to the temperature of approximately 292° F, and then sustained for a short time for ultra high temperature (UHT) treatment. This is a regulated temperature provided by the FDA for our aseptic sterilization requirements. The flash-heating-and-cooling aseptic process reduces nutrient loss and retains more of the inherent flavors of the product.
Q. What process do you use to avoid cross contamination between non-allergenic products and products containing an allergen?
A. Every 24 hours, production shuts down for a total cleaning and sterilization of all equipment. Complete cleaning and sterilization is also performed between runs of dairy and non-dairy items. To further reduce potential for cross contamination, a thorough cleaning and flushing of all equipment also takes place after running any product containing allergenic ingredients. The same cleaning is also performed between runs of non-organic and organic products to maintain the integrity of the organic ingredients.
Q: Do you use Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in your products?
A: No, we do not use any GMOs in our products. As a sustainable company, we care deeply about the safety and environmental impact all of our ingredients have on the earth, and avoiding GMOs is one key part of that process.
Q: Are your products Non-GMO Project verified?
A: Yes, we are part of the Non-GMO Project, which has verified some of our products. Timing for Non-GMO Project Verification can take up to several months or years and depends on many factors including the number of ingredients in a product and the level of evaluation required for each ingredient. With each product, the suppliers of our ingredients must also be verified, which adds another layer of complexity to the process. As a result, we have committed to a phased approach for verification. Although some products are not currently verified by the Non-GMO Project, all ingredients we use have been verified by our Certified to the Source (CTS) program. CTS is an internal program where we track our ingredients back to their origin to ensure our suppliers are compliant with our strict standards, which includes sourcing only non-GMO ingredients.
Q: Are your products certified organic?
A: Yes, many of our products are certified organic. While only products that carry the USDA Certified Organic seal or that are verified by the Non-GMO Project are required to be free of GMOs, even our products that fall outside these catagories are made with non-GMO ingredients.
Q: What do you do to assure consumers have access to Non-GMO food choices?
A: At Pacific, we are diligent about the purity of the ingredients that go into our products. We don’t use GMOs in our foods because we believe in delivering the most delicious tastes out of what nature has already provided. We assure that our foods are pure and support the following organizations committed to making safe, healthful choices available to all consumers:
- Organic Trade Association
- Oregon Tilth
- Non-GMO Project
- Just Label It
Q: Do your products contain Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)?
A: No. Pacific Foods does not add any MSG to our products, nor dow we allow MSG to be added to any of the ingredients we use.
Q: Does your water contain fluoride?
A: No. It does not contain any fluoride.
Q: Are your creamy soups gluten free?
A: Most of our creamy soups are gluten free, but some are not because of cross contamination of raw ingredients. Our Organic Curried Red Lentil and Organic Spicy Black Bean Soups are not gluten free. The lentils and beans are grown near wheat fields, so there is a possibility for cross contamination.
Q: Do you offer any Light Sodium soups?
A: Pacific Natural Foods is excited to provide three flavorful light sodium soups – Light Sodium Organic Creamy Tomato, Light Sodium Organic Creamy Butternut Squash, and Light Sodium Organic Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato soups all with HALF the sodium of our original flavors.
Q: What are your broth bases made with?
A: Pacific Natural Foods broths are made with real chicken or beef; no artificial ingredients, colors or additives are used.
Q: What about allergens in your broths?
A: All of Pacific Natural Foods broths are free of wheat/gluten, eggs, dairy, soy, shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts.
Q: What is the shelf life of the Hearty Carton soups?
A: An unopened package is shelf stable and will remain fresh for 24 months from the date of manufacture. You’ll find a “best before” date clearly stamped on all of our products.
Q: Are any of the Hearty Carton soups Kosher?
A: No, the soups are not Kosher.
Q: Are the new Vegetable Quinoa and New England Clam Chowder gluten free?
A: The Organic Vegetable Quinoa is gluten free. The New England Clam Chowder contains wheat.
Q: What is “Bisque”?
A: “Bisque” the French term for a soup that traditionally included seafood, wine and cream, though it is now also used for a rich, thick soup of pureed vegetables.
Q: Hearty Tomato Bisque and Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Bisque ingredient statements mention "sodium citrate" as an ingredient. What is "sodium citrate"?
A: Tomatoes naturally contain high acid, and high acid curdles milk. Sodium citrate, which is naturally derived from citrus fruit, prevents milk from curdling.
Q: Are your Bisques gluten free?
A: Yes, all four Bisques are gluten free.
Q: Are your Condensed Soups gluten free?
A: Yes, both the Organic Cream of Mushroom and Organic Cream of Chicken are gluten free.
Q: What is the ingredient “Crème FraÎche”?
A: Crème FraÎche is a delicious, thinner form of sour cream first developed by the French. It has a slight tanginess because it contains bacterial cultures.
Q: Are your bone broths and stocks pasteurized?
Q: Are any of the Soup Starters vegan?
A: Yes, the Organic Vegetarian Pho and Tortilla Soup Starter are both vegan.
Q: Are they gluten free?
A: Yes, all of our Soup Starters are gluten free.
Q: Are these products dairy, casein and whey free?
A: Yes! All of Pacific Natural Foods non-dairy beverages are completely dairy free, including casein and whey.
Q: Are these products gluten free?
A: Our Almond, Hazelnut, Soy and Rice beverages are gluten free.
Q: Are these products vegan?
A: Yes! All of Pacific Natural Foods non-dairy beverages are vegan – including the vitamins used in select products.
Q: Can I bake with the non-dairy beverages?
A: Yes! All of our non-dairy beverages can be used in both cooking and baking.
Q: Do hemp seeds in your Hemp Non-Dairy Beverage contain THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana?
A: Hemp and marijuana are different, yet related plants. Hemp is used in many products, mostly as a food, oil or fiber. Hemp has to pass strict testing laws and contains 0.00% THC. It is completely safe and legal to consume.
Q: Do the Soy Non Dairy Beverages contain genetically engineered (GMO) soybeans?
A: No. At Pacific Natural Foods, we use only certified organic soybeans produced without the use of genetic engineering or gene manipulation.
Q: Why does the Organic Oat Non-Dairy Beverage taste so sweet when there is no sweetener listed in the ingredient statement?
A: It is naturally sweetened from the oats. During the production process the oats are heated and natural enzymes are added that convert the starches to sugar, mainly glucose. It does not contain any added refined sugar.
Meals, Sides and Dips
Q: Are the Pasta Meals Kosher?
A: No, the Pasta Meals are not Kosher.
Q: Are the Refried and Baked Beans gluten free?
A: While the beans themselves are considered gluten free, we do not label this product gluten free because beans are grown close to wheat fields and there is a chance of cross contamination.
Q: Are the Refried and Baked Beans vegetarian?
A: All of the beans are vegetarian, with the exception of the Pork and Beans and the Refried Pinto Beans with pork fat.
Q: Is the Hummus vegan?
A: Yes, all three varieties are vegan.
Q: Why do you use canola oil in the Hummus?
A: We chose to use canola oil because it provides the best tasting product based on our unique recart cooking process. The canola oil is 100% organic and is Non-GMO.
Q: Is it normal to have water around the edges of the Hummus?
A: Yes, separation is natural and completely normal. Once you've scooped the hummus from the carton stir well and enjoy!
Q: Is the Salsa con Queso gluten free?
A: Yes, our Salsa con Queso is made using rice starch and yam flour to ensure we meet the gluten free requirement.
Q: The Salsa con Queso list annatto in the ingredients, what is that?
A: Annatto is a natural food coloring derived from the seeds of the Achiote tree and has been commonly used as a coloring for cheese and butter since the 1600's.
Sauces and Purees
Q: Can I use the Organic Pumpkin Puree in any of my recipes that require pumpkin?
A: Yes, the Organic Pumpkin Puree is a 1:1 replacement for any recipe that requires pumpkin puree.
Q: Were the turkeys used in the Organic Turkey Gravy pastured or free range?
A: The turkeys were raised under organic guidelines and allowed access to free range.