Most of the commonly known processed meat products originate from countries in moderate or cold climates. In the absence of cold chains, such conditions favoured further processing of meat and temporary storage of processed meat products. Most meat products are marketed to consumers chilled, frozen or canned.
Chilled and frozen meat products require an uninterrupted cold chain during storage, transportation and display and have a short shelf life. Canned products can easily be transported and stored for a longer period of time under ambient conditions in a moderate climate.
Traditionally, processed meat products were produced and directly sold in butcher shops, freshly portioned to consumer needs. This marketing system is still common in rural parts and smaller municipalities of industrialized countries or as a recent development also in the food sections of high-end supermarkets in cities.
Generally it can be stated, that with growing populations and the industrialization of whole regions and coinciding urbanization, the marketing methods for processed meats in such areas followed the ones for fresh meat. More and more supermarket outlets emerged where fresh and cooked meat products from various producers are now displayed and sold portioned or sliced, and pre-packed in response to consumers demand for high convenience products.
FAO facilitates efforts to reduce post slaughter and production losses and avoid health risks for consumers by actively promoting and disseminating knowledge and skills in modern meat handling and preservation technologies. Workshops, training programmes and awareness seminars are conducted around the world. Government as well as regional and national authorities are guided on introduction and monitoring of control mechanisms related to safe and hygienic meat production, processing and marketing.