Bird flu is the new scare that is going around in India after several migratory birds mysteriously died in different states. From Himachal Pradesh to Kerala, experts and authorities have sounded the alarm on the bird flu outbreak. In fact, Karnataka was also put on high alert after H5N8 avian influenza bird flu cases spiked in Kerala. But the biggest question on everyone's mind is whether it is safe to eat chicken.
All transport of poultry and birds from Kerala to Mysuru has been stopped due to the bird flu scare. All vehicles coming from Kerala at Bavali check post in Mysore will be sanitised. Amidst all these precautionary measures, citizens are puzzled about consuming poultry.
While the news of bird flu easily causes panic, doctors and experts have shared important advice to address the concerns. Firstly, doctors have said that the risk of human-to-human transmission of the H5N8 virus is very rare, unless an individual works in proximity with infected species. Doctors have advised people to avoid consuming raw or undercooked meat and eggs, but did not caution against consuming poultry altogether.
"There is no evidence available that suggests the spread of bird flu through eating meat or eggs. Nonetheless, eating raw meat and eggs should be avoided in the affected region till the incidents come down," advised Dr Harshal Salve, Associate Professor Centre for Community Medicine, AIIMS.
Meat provider's take on bird flu
International Business Times reached out to Licious, a Bengaluru-based meat and seafood company that operates on a farm-to-fork model across India, to get an understanding of whether it is safe to consume meat at this juncture. A company spokesperson assured that it is 100 percent safe to eat meat procured from safe trusted sources.
"Committed to building the meat category in India, Licious maintains the highest standards of safety, quality & hygiene. Along with rigorous regulations in our sourcing and absolute traceability in our supply chain, we are the first meat brand in India to be FSSC22000 certified- the highest global accreditation awarded to food brands," Licious spokesperson said in a statement to IBT. "Dedicated to offering consumers a better quality of meat and anchored by absolute control over our supply chain, every Licious product is 100% safe for consumption."
Further explaining how it procures its meat, Licious said it has farms with strict biosecurity that ensure there is no exposure to outside infections or contamination. Every one of these farms is monitored by qualified veterinarians. The startup also owns and deploys a globally acclaimed supply chain that allows it to monitor, safeguard and control the safety and quality of the product at every stage of procurement, processing, and transportation, right up until it is delivered to the customer's doorstep.
There are more than 150 safety & quality checks at various stages of sourcing and processing to ensure safe meat is delivered to consumers.
"Our meats have always been and continue to be 100% safe," the company said.