How do you recognise that poultry meat is fresh?

Meat retains its freshness for a short period of time due to the changes taking place in its fats and carbohydrate fraction. These are necessary to make it fit for consumption, but taken too far will make it no longer fit for that purpose. This is due to the action of its own enzymes and other components, but also to microorganisms. Spoiled meat should always be thrown away. It’s not suitable for further processing, sale or serving, as eating spoiled meat ends badly. Food poisoning, toxicoinfection, intoxication – should be an effective warning.

Particular attention should be paid to the freshness of poultry meat. It is the bacteria found in stale poultry meat that is the most common cause of food poisoning. Therefore, it is good to know how to recognise good, fresh poultry meat.


No special instruments are needed for this. All you need is your senses – sight, touch and smell – and the right knowledge. To check the quality and freshness of poultry meat, you need to look at it carefully. Your attention should be drawn to the form – fresh poultry meat is firm and has a solid texture. In practice, this means checking if it returns to its original shape when pressed with a finger. It shouldn’t be sticky or too soft. It’s definitely spoiled if it leaks cloudy fluid. Such signs are indicative of protein breakdown. However, before you check the texture, you should look at it carefully. The first signs may not require anything more than a glance. Fresh chicken meat has the colour of light pink. If it has turned grey or yellow, you may have reason to worry. So it’s necessary to make sure that the colour is bright and glossy. Of course, you should pay attention whether there is any film on the meat. The smell can also indicate poor condition and staleness of poultry meat. A sweetish and musty smell should alert you. In the case of fresh meat, poultry almost has no smell, and certainly not unpleasant.