AUSTIN, TX (September 8, 2009) — Whole Foods Market, the leading natural and organic foods supermarket, offers a new line of certified kosher chicken and turkey that is now available at select U.S. locations just in time for the Jewish High Holy Days.

“Interest in kosher meat continues to grow,” said Theo Weening, global meat buyer for Whole Foods Market. “We’re excited to be able to offer a variety of superior chicken and turkey products to our customers for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.”

The products are provided by Kosher Valley™, a new certified kosher brand from Hain Celestial Group (Hain Pure Protein), and are certified by Rabbi Yechiel Babad and the Orthodox Union. Kosher Valley’s antibiotic-free kosher line is one of the first of its kind in the United States.

According to Kosher Valley, many steps in kosher poultry processing are still performed by hand. Specially trained rabbinical inspectors check each bird ensuring that it is of the highest quality and processed in accordance with the kosher standards of cleanliness, purity and wholesomeness. All Kosher Valley poultry is hand-salted, inside and out, to remove blood since meat with blood in it is considered non-kosher. After salting, each bird is soaked three times in icy water to thoroughly cleanse the bird and remove the salt.

Like all meat sold at Whole Foods Market, the new Kosher Valley products must meet the Company’s strict animal welfare standards which require that all poultry offered in its stores comes from animals that are raised on a vegetarian diet with no antibiotics or added hormones.* Kosher Valley poultry products now available at Whole Foods Market include fresh and frozen whole young turkeys, ground turkey, fresh and frozen chicken, and tray packs of both turkey and chicken.

*Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in raising poultry.