The effect of carbon dioxide (100%), nitrogen (100%), carbon dioxide/oxygen (20%:80%) or vacuum pack at 3 and 10 degrees C was studied on the microbial flora, in skinless poultry breast fillets or thigh meat. Lactic acid bacteria and Brochothrix thermosphacta were the predominant organisms in samples stored in vacuum packs, carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Pseudomonads grew only in oxygen/carbon dioxide packaging systems. The concentration of lactate diminished in both thigh and breast meat during storage at 3 and 10 degrees C. This decrease was more pronounced in thigh meat stored under 20%:80% carbon dioxide/oxygen. Acetate increased to varying degrees in all samples regardless of the storage conditions.