Chicken to make comeback at Shanghai markets
Shanghai is planning to allow cold-processed poultry meat back onto the market by the end of May, giving the heavily hit poultry industry a chance at recovery following the bird flu outbreak earlier this year.
The decision follows no new confirmed cases of the H7N9 virus on the Chinese mainland for more than a week.
Shanghai's agriculture authority held a recent meeting where most participants suggested that live poultry markets should eventually be shut down, with cold-processed poultry products receiving extra promotion to gradually replace live poultry markets.
Cold-processed poultry refers to meat products cooled to between 0-4 degrees Celsius within an hour after slaughter and kept at the same temperature during processing, before being sold to the customer.
“The taste of cold-processed meat is very similar to just-slaughtered live poultry,” said Meng He, a professor of animal science at the School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. “Buying cold-processed poultry meat will be the most appropriate way to eat safety-guaranteed products without being afraid of catching any virus from live poultry,” Meng said.
Poultry product suppliers that used to receive regular orders for cold-processed poultry meat are waiting for the quick recovery of the market.
“Normally, 10,000 cold-processed chickens were sold daily before the bird flu outbreak, and now we only sell about 1,000 to 1,500 a day,” said Zhou Xianbin, a deputy general manager of Shanghai Shenghua Food Co, a leading poultry product supplier in Shanghai.
Official statistics show that the poultry industry, which is facing $6.5 billion losses has been slowly recovering with the issuance of government subsidies in April. Transactions in the poultry sector from May 6 to May 12 increased by 25.6% from the equivalent period in April, but were still down 67.2% year-on-year, the data showed.
Source: China Daily
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