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No change in big hotels? menu but market scared

EATING HABIT of the people of Bhopal so far appears to be unaffected by the bird flu virus scare with most hotels, restaurants and chicken shops making usual sale of chicken items today.

india Updated: Feb 20, 2006 14:30 IST

EATING HABIT of the people of Bhopal so far appears to be unaffected by the bird flu virus scare with most hotels, restaurants and chicken shops making usual sale of chicken items today.

Hotel Jehan Uma Palace Food and Beverage (F&B) manager Saji Thomas said most guests eating at the hotel’s various restaurants ordered chicken dishes as usual. “We dished out chicken preparations just like any other day,’’ he pointed out.
Thomas added that chicken items would continue to be on the menu and so far there is no plan to rid the menu off them.

“In any case, there is no chance of any kind of contamination as we already process and boil the chickens thoroughly,’’ he emphasised.

Lake View Ashoka’s F&B manager M B Hamal echoed the same feelings. He, however, added that the sale of chicken items was a bit less today. But the hotel so far has no plan to stop sale of chicken items.

“We already have a healthy stock of chickens and items would be dished out on the menu normally,’’ Hamal said. He, nevertheless, mentioned that any decision on whether to sell chicken items or not would have to come from the government, the hotel being a government-owned property.

Palash hotel, run by the State’s Tourism Department, has no plan to curtail chicken items either. Hotel staff said they had a good supply of healthy chicken.

The owner of a chicken shop located in Habibganj area said he did tremendous business today being a Sunday. He added chicken-eaters thronged his shop like any other Sunday and sales were high.

However, a PTI report says sales of poultry products recorded a dip in Madhya Pradesh today following bird flu scare with market sources saying that there was a decrease of 75 per cent in sales in some places.

Though there was no change in prices, the traders also fear a possible fall in prices of chicken and eggs in next couple of days.

“Even though it was a Sunday - when we expect good business, sale of chicken fell by over 75 per cent,” Abdul Hameed, owner of Pakeeza Chicken told PTI here.

“There is no bird flu here. But, not many customers turned out today,” he said adding “though prices of broiler (Rs 45/kg live and Rs 75/kg dressed), layer (Rs 32/kg live and Rs 70/kg dressed) and country chicken (Rs 160/kg live and Rs 220/kg dressed) did not see a major change, it might fall sharply after the news gets around.”

Sharp fall in customer turnout was also seen in other parts of State including Indore, Gwalior and Jabalpur since yesterday after reports of suspected bird flu in poultry samples from

Maharashtra, made rounds, sources said. Though prices of eggs (average - Rs 133 per 100 farm eggs and Rs 250 per 100 country eggs) remained unaffected across the State, the impact of bird flu scare on the markets could be seen after 24 hours, Inaam Bhai, trader and member of National Eggs Coordination Committee said.

Asserting that there was no case of the avian flu found in the State, he claimed that it was yet to be confirmed whether poultry in Nandurbar (Maharashtra) were infected by the virus or any other disease.

However, the market was expected to remain grim for poultry products in the coming days, he added. UNI adds that with bird flu reports splashed on media, a few chicken shopkeepers at the bustling New Market area said that they did not register a single sale since morning though Sundays are ‘business’ days.

Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Poultry Farmers Association Chairman Piyush Jyotishi told UNI, “The news will definitely have an adverse impact on business of the State’s more than 1,000 organised poultry farms, which have 20,000 to more than a lakh birds. Besides, there may be hundreds of farms that keep about 300-400 birds.”

Pointing out that trade was affected even about two years back in the wake of bird flu reports in certain countries, he added that people could consume poultry in Madhya Pradesh as the virus was not found here.

“Pesticides are sprinkled from time to time in organised farms,” he claimed. On the other hand, wary gourmand said they had decided to stay off chicken for the time being.

Some of them said that they would not consume any form of flesh as eateries might be using the same utensils for preparing
chicken and other non-vegetarian dishes. A shopkeeper in Jawahar Chowk said that poultry, which usually sold at Rs 55-60 per kg, went for a pittance.

Bird flu: BMC cautions citizens

THE BHOPAL Municipal Corporation (BMC) has cautioned the citizens to be alert against bird flu following the declaration of high alert against the disease in the State.

Corporation’s Dr Habiba Sultan has informed that Avian Influenza, commonly called bird flu is a dreaded disease that can spread from infected birds to humans on consumption. She said that keeping the poultry farms and shops clean, burying dead bids and their excreta and then spraying prescribed medicines over the area are some useful tips in controlling and preventing spread of the disease.

No chicken dishes at Noor-Us-Sabah
NOOR-US-SABAH Palace has decided to stop sale of chicken items in its restaurants from February 20 onwards as a precautionary measure.

“No chicken dishes would be on offer in the hotel for about a week just as a precautionary step,’’ F&B Manager Amitava Roy said. He added people were a little apprehensive about consuming chicken following news of the bird flu virus.

He informed that a guest hosting a private party at the hotel tonight had got the menu altered this morning. The party’s menu has been completely rid of chicken items, Roy pointed out.