Home Food Service Plan Tips

Most consumers purchase their meat and poultry from retail stores. However, some purchase meat and poultry from salesmen who knock on their door. In today's world, shopping at home can be both convenient and time saving. For many senior citizens, stay-at-home parents or shut-ins, it may be the only convenient way to shop.

The following information will give you tips on what to look for when considering a purchase of meat and poultry from a door-to-door salesman. Before purchasing a Home Food Service Plan, become an informed consumer by learning some important information about the company and their products.

  • Ask for a brochure. Reputable companies will have a local sales office with a published price list that includes the address and phone number of the company. Along with the price list they may offer recipes and nutrition information for their products.
  • Check for grading information on the product. If a meat or poultry product is graded by USDA, there must be a USDA grade indicated on the package or product label. If the purchaser is told by the salesman that his beef product is Prime, it must be labeled as such.
  • Understand the cuts. Know which cut of meat or poultry you are buying when making a meat or poultry purchase decision. Check the label for proper identification of the cut of meat or poultry you are purchasing. For more information on cuts of meat, see our grading page.
  • Read the label on the package or carton before you buy. No ingredient may be added to fresh meat or poultry unless the ingredient is listed on the label. Some companies may offer lower grades of meat or poultry that have been tenderized with a marinade or flavoring agent.
  • Ask to see their license or permit. In Colorado, sellers of Home Food Service Plans are required to have a license. Ask to see it to verify who you are doing business with.
  • If you change your mind. Colorado Department of Agriculture rules gives the purchaser three days to cancel purchases that are made in the home.
  • If you have a complaint about the company. Try to resolve your dispute with the seller first. If you are unsuccessful, contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture to report your complaint.

For Additional Information:

Contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture at (303) 867-9232 to see if the company is licensed and if there are any complaints pending.

Call your local Better Business Bureau to help you establish if you are doing business with a reputable firm or if complaints have been filed against the firm or individual.

Call USDA's Meat and Poultry Hotline at (800) 535-4555; Washington DC area (202) 730-3333. It is staffed by home economists, registered dietitians, and food technologists from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time year round. An extensive selection of food safety recordings can be heard 24 hours a day using a touch-tone phone.