Taiwan fast food chains to take big hit if bird flu worsens in US: COA

Want China Times
Date: 2015-05-16

Taiwanese fast food chains will take the biggest hit of all Taiwanese industries if

A fast food store in Taipei. (Photo/Yao Chih-ping)

A fast food store in Taipei. (Photo/Yao Chih-ping)

an outbreak of bird flu in the United States worsens, as it could require a comprehensive ban on chicken imports from that country, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said Friday.

The number of US states from which poultry products have been barred from entering Taiwan have gone up to 15 from nine due to the spread of bird flu there, said Chang Su-san, head of the council’s Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine.

The ban might expand to cover all states if the outbreak continues to spread, which will hit fast food restaurants the hardest, as they rely on imports for over half of the chicken they serve, said Wang Chung-shu, deputy head of the council’s Department of Animal Industry.

Free range chicken accounts for the majority of the chicken produced in Taiwan, but fast food chains, caterers and food manufacturers prefer cheaper frozen imported chickens or locally produced battery chickens over locally produced free range birds.

Taiwan imports some 140,000 tonnes of chicken from abroad every year, mostly from the US, Wang said.

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