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April 12, 2013

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Diners giving chicken a miss

SHANGHAI'S restaurants have seen a dramatic slump in the demand for chicken due to the deadly H7N9 bird flu outbreak.

The Xiaoshaoxing fast food restaurant chain, famous for its boiled chicken and chicken and duck offal soup, told the Shanghai Morning Post that sales had fallen by about 60 percent since last Thursday.

But an official with the Shanghai Cuisine Association said the traditional dishes wouldn't be disappearing from local menus despite the city closing poultry markets.

He said many restaurants didn't buy their chicken from local markets but from designated certified suppliers.

However, customers are staying away from chicken dishes, a Xiaoshaoxing official said.

The restaurant official said that many customers might be worried about safety as they did not know how the chicken was cooked.

"Each chicken should be cooked in boiling water for 30 minutes before other procedures are taken. The cooking procedure seems to be very simple but it requires high skills to ensure each chicken is cooked thoroughly with a tender taste but no blood," the official said.

Meanwhile, a restaurant on Fushan Road in Pudong that serves chicken hotpot said it had stopped selling chicken dishes but were offering fish and frog instead.

A waiter said that they had half the number of customers as usual with most of them choosing not to order dishes with chicken.


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