Warm Meat is obtained from freshly slaughtered animals or poultry. The meat is not refrigerated at any stage of the meat handling or at the point of sale, which is usually the wet market place.
Meat is highly perishable. Without refrigeration, spoilage and food poisoning bacteria grow rapidly on the warm meat. Chemical and biochemical changes are also accelerated under the warm conditions. These result in rapid deterioration of the meat quality.
The distribution and handling system for warm meat is not conducive to optimum hygiene. The warm meat does not keep its freshness and eating quality for long.
Chilled Meat is fresh meat produced from freshly slaughtered animals or poultry and stored under refrigeration without being frozen. In the abattoir, the carcasses are immediately chilled down to the recommended chilled meat temperature of 0°C to 4°C by a rapid chilling process using advanced refrigeration technology. The chilling temperature is maintained throughout the subsequent processing, handling, transport, storage, distribution and retail. This unbroken link of refrigeration is referred to as a Cold Chain System for Meat. This continues through to keeping chilled meat in home refrigerators.
Cold temperatures keep harmful bacteria from growing. Chilling also slows down quality deterioration due to growth of spoilage bacteria as well as chemical and biochemical changes.
Chilled meat keeps its freshness for 3 to 5 days in display chiller or home refrigerator. It is convenient to use and can be cut into specific portions to the exact requirements of the user.
Frozen meat is similarly processed from freshly slaughtered animals or poultry. The meat, which is in peak condition and freshness, is preserved by rapid freezing to colder than -18°C and is then stored and distributed in this frozen form.
Freezing stops bacterial growth. The complex chemical changes that cause deterioration of the meat, such as rancidity, are also slowed down considerably. Freezing meat can therefore preserve the meat in good condition and retain its wholesomeness and quality for long periods ranging from 6 months to a year depending on the kinds of meat. Upon thawing, the quality of the meat should be as acceptable to the consumer as the fresh product.
Imported chilled meat comes from world-class export establishments approved by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore. The approved export sources comply with AVA's requirements for freedom from diseases and maintaining high hygienic standards in the production of meat for export to Singapore.
It undergoes a stringent inspection, both at source and on arrival in Singapore, to ensure safety and wholesomeness.
It is certified to be safe and hygienically produced and has been inspected to be disease free before and after slaughter.
Chilled pork is also produced locally. Pigs are imported from AVA-approved farms which maintain a high standard of disease control and sanitation. They are slaughtered at AVA-licensed abattoirs which meet international standards in hygienic operation. Every pig is inspected before it is admitted to the slaughter hall; each and every carcass and organ are again inspected after slaughter. Only the wholesome ones are passed for use as human food. They are rapidly chilled to 0°C to 4°C before further handling.
Chilled meat is also constantly monitored through a comprehensive laboratory testing programme for safety from chemical and microbiological hazards. In abattoirs in Singapore, the carcasses are tested while being chilled. Only safe meat which meets the food safety standards are released for sale. Imported meat consignments are also regularly tested. Chilled carcasses are cut up into parts under hygienic conditions in AVA-licensed meat cutting establishments which are equipped with refrigeration facilities.
Chilled meat cuts are distributed in refrigerated transport and are protected from exposure to contamination from wild birds, rats, insects and other vermin and the environment.
Chilled meat is sold in refrigerated display chillers to maintain its freshness, safety and quality. The enclosed chiller display cabinets provide additional protection from contamination in the retail environment.
The meat is rapidly chilled down at the peak of freshness. Chill temperatures are maintained throughout the cold chain system to preserve the freshness, nutritive values and eating quality of the meat. The cold temperature of chilled meat (kept at below 4°C) enhances safety as the growth of bacteria which can cause food poisoning is suppressed.
Chilled meat has a longer shelf life as cold temperature slows down the growth of bacteria which cause spoilage.
There is less wastage due to better keeping qualities of the meat when handled and stored under recommended chilling conditions.
Chilled fresh meat is convenient and ready for use straight from the refrigerator.
You can be assured that the chilled meat that you buy is fresh, wholesome and safe.