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Record levels of poultry consumption in 2017

Tuesday 19 December 2017

Three million more chickens added to meet New Zealand’s record levels of consumption in 2017

Fresh chicken sales are soaring higher than the mercury currently with the highest levels of consumption seen by the Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand (PIANZ).

The Poultry Industry has produced 118,000,000 birds this year to meet demand, three million more than 2016.

“We are are eating more fresh chicken than ever before. On average, Kiwis have devoured over 41 kilograms of fresh chicken per person this year, and we’re only just hitting peak poultry season,” says PIANZ Executive Director, Michael Brooks.

Mr Brooks says during Christmas and the summer break chicken sales typically spike dramatically, but consumption has been breaking records all year round in 2017 for a number of reasons.

“Our producers are innovating. We are seeing different marinades, stuffings, cuts of meat, roasting and barbequing techniques with fresh chicken.

Consumers are inspired by household names like Nadia Lim, Chelsea Winter and Reality TV cooking shows which show them how to give delicious chicken dishes a go.

“The growth in home delivered food kits is phenomenal and so many of these favour chicken-based dishes for customers to try their hand at preparing. Consumers growing confidence is reflected in the industry’s growing sales.”

The unseasonably warm weather means people are barbequing earlier which leads PIANZ to remind people of safe food handling practices with raw meat.

“Clean, cook and chill is the mantra people need to follow when preparing fresh chicken,” says Mr Brooks.

“Clean your hands, surfaces, chopping boards and utentsils before and after preparing raw chicken. Cook it until the juices run clear and chill by storing in the refrigerator within two hours to cool down safely.

“People today are more aware of the risks associated with handling raw chicken. We see that in the declining rate of campylobacter cases attributable to chicken.

In fact the latest data of reported cases of campylobacter here shows a significant 27% drop of cases compared with the same time last year. This is pleasing to see, but a continued focus on good practices will help this trend continue down.

“Roast chicken and turkey are the go-to birds for Christmas so it’s timely for people to think about safe food practices when preparing their feast this year.”

Ends.

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