Poultry

Procedures to establish the net weight of fresh whole and portioned poultry products.

Labelling and testing requirement

All packaged foods must be marked and sold with a stated net quantity on the package. All packaging must be excluded from the quantity statement.

If any fluid is in the packaged food and is identified for consumption, such as in the name, description or instructions, it should be included in the net quantity statement.

If any fluid is not identified for consumption, it should not be included in the net quantity statement.

For more information see:

Test procedures to establish net weight

The following procedures have been developed to help Trading Standards Officers and packers determine whether the stated net weight on packaged poultry products is correct.

Procedure 1 – portioned fresh poultry

Required equipment

You’ll need the following equipment for the testing procedure:

  • Suitable weighing instrument.
  • Tray to place poultry on.
  • Scissors.
  • Latex gloves.
  • Calculator.

Step 1

  • Record the product name, batch number/ID and stated net weight of product.

label showing weight

Step 2

  • Place empty tray on weighing instrument and push the 'Tare' button.
  • Remove tray.

taring tray on scale

Step 3

  • Put on latex gloves and use scissors to open product packaging.
  • Remove poultry pieces and place on tray, removing any absorption and soaker pads.
  • Place tray on weighing instrument and record the actual net weight.
  • Remove tray and poultry from weighing instrument.

chicken pieces removed from package and placed on tare tray

Step 4

  • Zero the weighing instrument.
  • Place packaging, including any absorption and soaker pads, on the weighing instrument.
  • Record the weight.

empty manufacturers packaging on scales

Step 5

  • Calculate any error by subtracting the actual net weight of poultry from the stated net weight.

calculator

Example of recording quantity checks for packers

Product NameBatch Number / IDStated Net Weight (g)Actual Net Weight (g)Error (g)Packing Material Weight (g)Pass / Fail
Chicken Drums 00221133 408 400 - 8 48 Fail
Chicken Thighs 00212133 729 729 0 32 Pass

Procedure 2 – whole fresh poultry

Required equipment

  • Suitable weighing instrument.
  • Tray to place poultry on.
  • Scissors.
  • Latex gloves.
  • Calculator.

Step 1

  • Record the product name, batch number/ID and stated net weight of package.

label showing product information

Step 2

  • Place empty tray on weighing instrument and push the 'Tare' button.
  • Remove tray.

taring tray on scale

Step 3

  • Put on latex gloves. Place package on a horizontal surface for 30 seconds with poultry breast on the upper surface, to allow any fluid to settle.

whole fresh chicken in package

Step 4

  • Hold the package vertically and open product along upper seam using scissors.
  • Remove whole poultry.

whole fresh chicken held by opening

Step 5

  • Place whole poultry on tray removing any absorption and soaker pads.
  • Place tray on weighing instrument and record the actual net weight.
  • Remove tray and poultry from weighing instrument.

whole fresh chicken being weighted

Step 6

  • Zero the weighing instrument.
  • Place packaging, including any absorption and soaker pads and any remaining fluid contained in the package, on the weighing instrument.
  • Record the weight.

empty manufacturers packaging being weighted

Step 7

  • Calculate any error by subtracting the actual net weight of poultry from the stated net weight.

calculator

Example of recording quantity checks for packers

Product NameBatch Number / IDStated Net Weight (g)Actual Net Weight (g)Error (g)Packing Material Weight (g)Pass / Fail
Whole Chicken 00331122 1400 1345 - 55 75 Fail
Whole Chicken 00661144 1000 1010 10 60 Pass

Penalties for breaching the weights and measures legislation

Selling short quantity packaged goods

It's an offence if the weight, measure or number of goods in the package is less than that stated on the package or label.

If your goods are found by a Trading Standards Officer to be short of their stated net quantity, you may be subject to an enforcement action under Section 16A of the Weights and Measures Act 1987.

For more information see:

Selling packaged goods not marked as prescribed

It’s an offence if a packaged good is not marked as prescribed.

If your goods are determined by a Trading Standards Officer to not meet the marking requirements, you may be subject to an enforcement action under Regulation 80 of the Weights and Measures Regulations 1999.

For more information see:

Trading Standards visits and inspections