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Bird flu scare: Pune eateries see dip in sale of chicken items; state officials say it is safe for consumption

Pune: The bird flu scare has seen a dip in sale of chicken products in some restaurants and café across the city
By Jigar Hindocha
UPDATED ON JAN 14, 2021 07:10 PM IST

Pune: The bird flu scare has seen a dip in sale of chicken products in some restaurants and café across the city. As of Thursday, Pune district has zero bird flu cases and the samples of 13 poultry birds sent for examination have tested negative.

Even as the state animal husbandry department has advised people that there is no harm in consuming poultry products and cooking it at home, many residents have decided to avoid chicken-based food.

Good Luck Café at Fergusson College road, known for its popular butter chicken delicacy, has noticed a dip in orders.

“The demand for chicken and egg-based dishes has gone down since last week. The sale of food items made of mutton has increased and many are ordering it in place of chicken,” said Abbas Ali, manager, Good Luck Café.

“The major impact of bird flu has been noticed in sale of backyard poultry birds. The price fluctuation of chicken in the organised sector is normal, so there is nothing to panic. We are yet to check the sale figure after the bird flu outbreak to know the impact,” said PG Pedgaonkar, general secretary, Venky’s (India) Limited.

Shalaka Ranade, manager at restobar Culture Pune on Fergusson College road said, “We are yet to receive any order from the government regarding non-sale of chicken and egg products. Those customers who inquire are told that our products are from Venky’s certified poultry farms, they agree to place the order. There is no fall in the demand for chicken-based items.”

Some cafes have noticed demand for paneer (cottage cheese) and mushrooms food items from customers who preferred chicken-based dishes.

“The demand for veg items, especially paneer and mushrooms, has been on the rise since last one week. The fall in egg price has been more than chicken,” said Sarvesh Jadhav, owner of Austin40 Café house, Bhandarkar road.

“People are opting for vegetarian foods instead of chicken and eggs, though vendors say that there is no impact of bird flu on sale in Pune district,” said Pawan Shrivastav, owner of Perks and Brews Café, Vimannagar.

“For dine-in and parcel service we are getting orders like normal days. Customers are not inquiring about bird flu,” said Ravish Shetty, manager, Sadanand Resorts in Baner.

Shyam Bhagat, Pune president, National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) said, “Though the price of eggs has fallen from 560 (100 eggs) to 390, no major difference in sale has been noticed.”

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