Poultry packaging and distribution

The subdivision of components into smaller parts – single and multi-part – is done according to a well-defined finished product specification

It specifies details such as the types of cuts, the forms and weights of the portions. It is worth noting that mass production must conform to unitary patterns and be confirmed by systematic checks. This also applies to the packaging process. If meat and chicken parts are on MAP trays, they should be packaged in an inert gas atmosphere (MAP), the quantitative and qualitative concentration of which is properly controlled and documented. The random inspection in this case relates to leakage, and these activities must be recorded and properly registered.

Types of packaging and packaging process

It is permissible to use stretch, vacuum, shrink or other closed packaging that prevents direct contact of the product with external agents. In order to ensure appropriate conditions during packaging and packing, the rooms intended for these processes are cooled to 12°C during the production cycle and the temperature is recorded continuously.


In the storage compartments for freshly chilled goods, the temperature is maintained at no more than + 4°C. In the storage compartments for frozen goods, on the other hand, the storage temperature should be maintained at no more than – 18°C. The process is closely monitored at all times and the release of products for distribution is carried out on a first-in-first-out basis.

Transporting meat to the shop and selling finished products

Meat transporters must be specialized vehicles equipped with appropriate cargo holds, refrigeration facilities to monitor thermal conditions and structures to maintain cleanliness. Their driver, in turn, should be trained in the principles of hygiene and the ability to monitor thermal conditions in the hold at stops, as well as during transport. If the cold chain is broken during transport, the product cannot be put into retail, and the situation must be properly recorded. This means that the plant should have emergency instructions for emergency situations during meat transportation, and vehicle drivers must be trained in this regard.

Distribution of finished products

Before accepting products into the distribution and sales warehouses, the following must be carried out:

  • check the cleanliness of the hold,
  • assess the degree of damage to individual and collective packaging during transport, if any,
  • Check the thermal conditions in the hold,
  • check the temperature of the product.

Poultry meat may not be put on the retail market in the following cases:

1) the cold chain is found to have been interrupted in the hold during transport,

2) the temperature of the meat on arrival is found to be higher than 4°C. In the distribution and sales warehouses and in the display counters, the thermal conditions should be monitored and documented. The temperature of the meat in the refrigerated counters should not exceed 4°C and must be checked regularly to ensure this.

Notwithstanding the above procedures, when selling meat products, it is necessary to:

  • visually check the quality of the products on display,
  • systematically eliminate packaging damaged by customers,
  • not allow visually substandard products to be displayed and sold.Importantly, in the event of an emergency,
  • the producer is obliged to have a documented procedure for the withdrawal from the market of products that do not meet consumer safety standards.