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Livestock Products - Eggs and Poultry - Poultry Marketing Standards

Picture of a chicken's faceThe sale of poultrymeat for human consumption in the European Union (EU) must also be in accordance with marketing standards legislation. The EC regulations facilitate harmonised standards throughout the EU.

Food Standards Scotland has responsibility for the regulations relating to the hygiene requirements for poultry production, which include a provision that fresh poultry should not be treated with water retention agents.

Food Standards Scotland also has responsibility for regulations on food labelling (including where fresh poultry, as a result of normal production processing, contains more than 5% added water) temperature control and packaging materials. The Department of Trade and Industry are responsible for weights.

Poultry must be marketed in one of the following conditions:

  • Fresh poultry meat: This is defined as poultry meat not stiffened by the cooling process, which is to be kept at a temperature not below -2°C and not higher than 4°C at any time.
  • Frozen poultry meat: This is defined as poultry meat which must be frozen as soon as possible within the constraints of normal slaughtering procedures and kept at a temperature no higher than -12°C at any time. The temperature must be stable and maintained at -12°C or lower, with possibly brief upward fluctuations of no more than 3°C. These tolerances in the temperature of the product are permitted in accordance with good storage and distribution practice during local distribution and in retail display cabinets.
  • Quick-frozen poultry meat: This is defined as poultry meat kept at a temperature no higher than -18°C at any time within the tolerances provided for in Council Directive 89/108/EEC relating to quick-frozen foodstuffs for human consumption. A copy of the "Poultrymeat Quality Guide" is available by telephoning, 0300 244 9856.

Visit the Rural Payments and Services website for more information on Scotland's egg and poultry sector.