Saturday, April 08, 2006

Eating Safe In A Bird Flu Infected UK

$3 Billion Poultry Industry Grows Nervous

Within hours of confirmation that the avian influenza virus had reached the United Kingdom, restuarants across the country began changing their menus.

Gone, for now, are any dishes that contain raw eggs or half-cooked/under-cooked poultry.

This includes :

Freshly made mayonnaise.

Mousses made with raw eggs.

Poultry dishes where the meat is pink.

Any egg dishes where the white yolk is not hard.

In a break with World Health Organisation guidelines, food authorities in the UK have decided that eggs where the yellow yolk is runny are safe to eat. The WHO does not regard runny yellow yokes as safe enough.

It's not Christmas, so few are making egg nog, the traditional recipe of which includes raw eggs.

The Independent reports that major supermarket chains are not planning to remove poultry products from shelves, or stop the sale of barbecued chickens, turkeys and ducks.

"Sales of poultry on mainland Europe plunged by as much as 80 per cent in the weeks after cases of avian flu were discovered in Turkey. France said last month its poultry industry, the largest in Europe, was losing £27m a month."

Although the British poultry industry is nowhere near as large as Europe, it still grosses around $3 billion a year from the sale of almost a billion birds prepared for eating.

More than 76,000 are employed by the UK poultry industry. If outbreaks of the avian influenza virus continue, poultry producers are expecting "a dip" in poultry sales, which could lead to job losses.

No comments: