1. How does Spragg’s Meat Shop’s online store work?

Spragg’s Meat Shop is located in Rosemary and we have locations at both our Calgary Meat Shop open 10am - 6pm every day, and Calgary Farmers Market that is open Thurs thru Sunday every week. When you place an order through our online store – you can pick up the order at any of those 3 locations. Generally speaking, all orders that come in before 8am on Tuesdays are ready for pickup in Rosemary and/or are delivered to Calgary for Friday of the same week. Orders coming in later than that; are delayed by one week. Orders in Rosemary can be picked up Monday through Friday 9am-6pm.

Because our packages are sold by weight; we cannot give you an exact total until the order is complete. You can pay via cash, credit card or debit card when you pick up the order. We have tried as much as possible to put the average size of every item within the description of the product to give you a better understanding as to how much you are ordering. All orders come in as number of packages of the specific product you want.

We can assist you by phone or email if you are having problems.

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2. What is the difference between certified organic and our pork?

We do not spray the pastures that the pigs are on for weeds or insects and do not feed our pigs low levels of antibiotics to prevent disease. We do not use artificial growth promotants to get our pigs to grow faster or leaner than they would naturally. Our pigs get a plant based diet – with no animal byproducts in that feed. The barley and fababeans that are fed to the pigs have been grown conventionally – when the crops were grown they were sprayed once to kill the weeds in the field, and the barley crops are grown with inorganic fertilizer when necessary to provide the appropriate levels of fertility in the soil.

3. Do we use nitrites in our sausage?

Yes, in all of our smoked products – there is a regulated level of sodium nitrite added. This is 200 ppm in sausage and ham and 120 ppm in bacon. This level of sodium nitrite is added to prevent the growth of botulism during the smoke phase in the smokehouse. The botulism toxins can be produced in an anaerobic, warm environment, and the sodium nitrite prevents this growth. We are trying to produce a safe product. Research has shown that sodium nitrite can become nitrosamine which has been labelled a carcinogen. There are lower levels of sodium nitrite in bacon than in sausage to prevent this conversion to nitrite to nitrosamine. We recommend to people who want to avoid all nitrites – to stick with fresh grilling type sausage or roasts as opposed to hams. We even have a country roll – a leg roast that has a ham flavoured brine (without the nitrite) that has not been smoked but will have a ham flavour after cooking.

4. What is trichinosis? Does pork still have to be cooked to well done?

Trichinosis is a roundworm that lives part of its lifecycle in a mouse and part in an animal that would eat mice. Pigs and wild game (bear, cougar) are historically the animals that would carry trichinosis. However, since almost all pigs are raised indoors – the lifecycle of trichinosis has been broken and there has not been a reported case of trichinosis in pork in Canada for over 15 years. Our pigs are inspected at slaughter and are healthy but we do recommend pork be cooked to 72C, trichinosis is killed at 58C. Freezing also kills trichinosis in pork.