Consumers info

Poultry products contain a high level of protein. It is because of this feature that poultry products are one of the most common food sources in the world. Not only egg products but also meat products are prepared in millions of households over the world every day. Because of the high demand for poultry products the poultry sector has been highly industrialised and commercialised over the last 50 years. Chickens used in meat production for example have been selected for growth. Farmers are now capable of producing a chicken that weighs 2 kg after 6 weeks instead of 12 weeks. This development has led to a higher production per year. In western society chicken meat and egg products are purchased in supermarkets every day. However, in less developed countries, most consumers still prefer the slower growing chickens over the more industrialised chickens that can be purchased from the supermarket. These chickens have a stronger taste than the more industrialized chickens. In less developed countries it is very common to buy animals on the market when the animals are still alive. Chickens are slaughtered at home guaranteeing a fresh product.

The high protein level in egg products has the disadvantage that it can form a feeding ground for all kinds of bacteria when these products are not handled with care. Some of these bacteria cause food poisoning, which can lead to illness and even death. Bacteria grow and multiply faster in warm places therefore it is important to keep products refrigerated at all times. However, when products are cooked above a certain temperature the bacteria do not survive. Up most care should be taken when handling poultry products, to guarantee that the product you eat is safe. More information about Food Safety in and around the kitchen can be found on the following websites:
http://foodsafety.wsu.edu
http://www.foodsafety.gov
http://www.ext.nodak.edu
http://www.cooks.com

A short description of what can be done to make sure products do not get contaminated from the moment the consumers buy the product at supermarkets to the point where it is served at home is given in the next flow chart. Food safety hazards that can be encountered, throughout different proceedings before meat or egg products are consumed. Common contaminations are bacterial contaminations, like Salmonellae and Campylobacter. Because egg and meat products contain a high level of protein it can form a feeding ground for any type of bacteria. If the product is not handled with care, bacteria that are not present in chickens from for example the hand can contaminate food and can cause food poisoning.