Fresh chickens to make ‘tasty’ comeback tomorrow

2024-02-01 03:09
BY Yuki Lei

Much to the delight of local consumers, the Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM) announced yesterday that “fresh chickens” will be available once again in the local market from tomorrow.

IAM Food Safety Department Chief Cheong Kuai Tat said on the sidelines of yesterday’s media visit to a frozen and fresh chicken supplier in Zhuhai’s Doumen district that “with the strong support of the General Administration of Customs (GAC), fresh chickens, which will be for sale on the day of slaughter, will be supplied to the Macau market from February 2”, i.e., from tomorrow, acknowledging that the pre-ordered fresh chickens will arrive in the local market within one-and-a-half hours after their slaughter and processing early in the morning from the suppliers in Zhuhai.

Cheong said that once the fresh chickens have been ordered the day before, they would be transported the next day in cold-chain transport vehicles from their suppliers in the mainland to the Macau market after being slaughtered and processed, with the entire distribution process being carried out in cold chain.

He added that quick quarantine measures will be carried out before supplying the fresh chickens to the local market, including checking the poultry products and health certification documents, while, at the same time, ensuring that the chickens arrive in Macau safely under temperature-controlled conditions, for example, whether the temperatures of the cold-chain transport vehicles meet the relevant requirements.

According to Cheong, in order to facilitate consumers’ identification of the products, fresh chickens must have clasps printed with the date of slaughter on their beaks, and be stored and displayed in refrigerated cabinets, with the outer packaging having the product information on it, including the date and time of processing.

Cheong underlined that a briefing meeting has already been held with retailers, urging them to comply with the IAM “Hygienic Guidelines on Retail Sale of Fresh Chickens”, which lists the food hygiene requirements and points to notes in relation to the transport, storage, display and sale of fresh chickens. He promised that the bureau would continue to carry out sporadic health inspections as well as the testing of random samples of retail establishments of fresh and live food, in order to ensure the safety of such food products in the market.

In response to the bird flu menace, the local government implemented its “human-poultry segregation” measure in 2017, which replaced the supply of live poultry with refrigerated poultry. Since then, only frozen chickens have been available in the local market.

For the time being, according to Cheong, members of the public, as well as retailers can place their orders for fresh chickens via an app by Nam Kwong (Group) Company Limited. He said that the bureau welcomes any suppliers as long as they meet all the health requirements and export qualifications to Macau.

Cheong noted that there are about 15,600 frozen chickens imported to Macau on a daily basis.

According to a Nam Kwong representative, who accompanied the local media on the trip to Doumen, based on the number of pre-orders at the time of the visit yesterday afternoon, at least 1,800 fresh chickens will be on sale in Macau tomorrow. The representative advised consumers to eat the chickens within 24 hours of the slaughter, so as to maintain their “best” texture and taste.

According to the official website of Nam Kwong (Group) Company, the wholesale price of the fresh chickens from Zhuhai will range between 54 patacas and 92 patacas.

According to past experience, Huan Ping, who heads the Import and Export Food Safety Division in Gongbei Customs, said that Macau’s demand for fresh food supplied by the mainland would rise during the Spring Festival (as the Chinese New Year is officially known), with an expected increase of about 20 percent to 30 percent.

Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM) Food Safety Department Chief Cheong Kuai Tat (right) and Huan Ping, who heads the Import and Export Food Safety Division in Gongbei Customs, brief the media yesterday at a fresh chicken supplier in Zhuhai’s Doumen district about the resumption of fresh chicken exports to Macau after a 6-year hiatus.

A poultry process worker in Doumen poses yesterday with a fresh chicken box ready for the wholesale market. – Photos: Yuki Lei


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