Two low-pathogenicity (LP) and two high-pathogenicity (HP) avian influenza (AI) viruses were inoculated into chickens by the intranasal route to determine the presence of the AI virus in breast and thigh meat as well as any potential role that meat could fill as a transmission vehicle. The LPAI viruses caused localized virus infections in respiratory and gastrointestinal (GI) tracts. Virus was not detected in blood, bone marrow, or breast and thigh meat, and feeding breast and thigh meat from virus-infected birds did not transmit the virus. In contrast to the two LPAI viruses, A/chicken/Pennsylvania/1370/1983 (H5N2) HPAI virus caused respiratory and GI tract infections with systemic spread, and virus was detected in blood, bone marrow, and breast and thigh meat. Feeding breast or thigh meat from HPAI (H5N2) virus-infected chickens to other chickens did not transmit the infection. However, A/chicken/Korea/ES/2003 (H5N1) HPAI virus produced high titers of virus in the breast meat, and feeding breast meat from these infected chickens to other chickens resulted in AI virus infection and death. Usage of either recombinant fowlpox vaccine with H5 AI gene insert or inactivated AI whole-virus vaccines prevented HPAI virus in breast meat. These data indicate that the potential for LPAI virus appearing in meat of infected chickens is negligible, while the potential for having HPAI virus in meat from infected chickens is high, but proper usage of vaccines can prevent HPAI virus from being present in meat.