The aim of this study was to determine the physiological water content in chicken raised and slaughtered in the European Union (EU) in 2012 and to compare it to the results of a study conducted in 1993 to assess whether the limits for ‘extraneous water’ in European legislation need to be revised. Seven Member States were chosen for participation in this study who accounted for more than 70% of total EU poultry production according to the figures published for 2009. Information was collected on current poultry rearing practices in the EU with respect to the most common breeds, weight classes, gender balance, flock/batch sizes and typical processing volumes. Using this information, a sampling plan was formulated that proposed collecting forty eight birds from each of the top EU poultry producing Member States. The sampling plan covered the key variables of breed, weight (light and heavy birds), gender, flock and cuts. Samples were collected from these seven Member States under the supervision of at least one LGC representative. The collected samples were frozen in the slaughterhouses or at the NRL in the Member State that samples were being sampled in and sent by overnight courier to LGC for sample homogenisation.