THE consumption of chicken rose by 10 to 12 percent in Spain this Summer, with an increase as high as 35 percent in tourist areas because of the increase in demand. This indicates a recovery in this market just one year after the salmonella poisoning scare after some 2'700 people fell ill after eating pre-cooked chicken. According to the President of the Interprofessional Poultry Breeders, Federico Felix, the Summer season always produces an increase in consumption which this year is between 2'000 and 3'000 million kilos more per week. Between 21.5 and 22 tonnes of chicken is habitually consumed per week, but in the Summer months, with the arrival of the tourists, this climbs to 24.5 or 25 tonnes. According to Felix, the increase in the population in the Summer months in Spain and the fact that chicken is an easy to cook product are the reasons for the increase in the consumption of this food.
There are many people eating chicken, which is the best and cheapest meat, and this will continue, he concluded. He added that this sector is in a state of calm and normality after a time during which we could not have said that. He said he considered that the level of consumption of chicken had recovered almost totally and there are no problems. He was referring to the scare about bird flu as well as the fall in sales caused by the outbreak of salmonella in pre-cooked chicken, which caused worries among the population about food safety. This week the quarantine and extraordinary measures were lifted around the wetland of Salburua, where a grebe was recently found to be infected with the H5N1 virus (the forerunner to bird flu). This was the only case found in Spain.