WASHINGTON — The National Chicken Council (NCC) today released new national survey findings on consumers’ perceptions about chicken production, revealing that nearly 80 percent of Americans mistakenly believe that chicken contains added hormones or steroids, when in fact no chicken sold or raised in the U.S. is given hormones or steroids.
In some cases, consumers aren’t able to easily access facts on chicken production. According to the survey, 68 percent of Americans believe that the media portrays the care of chicken negatively, highlighting the need for chicken producers to engage in more conversations with consumers about where their chicken comes from. The survey uncovered many concerning assumptions about the care and safety of chicken, including:
|A majority (78 percent) believe chickens are genetically modified.||There are no genetically modified chickens. Over the years, chickens with the healthiest growth and size have been selected for breeding – and are fed, housed and raised well. The result is a larger, healthier bird.|
|A majority (77 percent) believe chicken contains added hormones or steroids.||No chicken sold or raised in the U.S. is given hormones or steroids. In fact, the USDA has banned all hormones and steroids in poultry since the 1950s. Good breeding, proper nutrition, care by a veterinarian and better living conditions all contribute to the healthier growth of birds.|
|Nearly three-quarters (73 percent)believe antibiotics are present in most chicken meat.||Any meat from chickens sold in the U.S. is free of antibiotics. The USDA regulates withdrawal periods to ensure no meat bought in-store contains antibiotics or antibiotic residue from animals that may need medicine.|
|More than two-thirds (68 percent)believe most chickens raised for meat are raised in cages.||
No chicken meat you buy is raised in a cage. The majority of chickens raised for meat in the U.S. live in large, open structures called houses where they are free to walk around.
In an effort to recognize and respond to these concerns, NCC announced the launch of Chicken Check In, which provides real answers to questions about chicken production in the U.S., and gives Americans a close look at the lives of the birds and how they get to our tables every day.
“We take pride in the care of our chickens, but we know it’s on us as an industry to do a better job of providing more information on how our food gets from farm to table,” said Tom Super, spokesperson for the National Chicken Council. “Food is an emotionally-charged topic, and with conflicting information readily available online and on social media, it’s understandable people are concerned. We invite consumers with open arms to come and take a look at the work we’re doing to progress as an industry in providing safe, healthy and sustainable food.”
About Chicken Check In
NCC invites Americans to visit Chicken Check In to learn more about how the chicken they purchase and feed their families is raised. The site offers consumers the opportunity to get a close look at how chickens are raised, from the farm to grocery store shelves. From videos to answers to frequently asked questions, Chicken Check In is as a resource for consumers to get the information they are seeking about chicken care.
“The mission of Chicken Check In is to provide those who have questions with the level of information they want regarding the care and safety of the chicken they eat,” said Super. “We’re committed to continuing to build consumer trust by having open conversations and inviting Americans to ask the questions they have now and in the future as they learn more about chicken production.”
For additional information on the survey, to view an infographic on chicken care, or to learn more about the National Chicken Council, visit www.ChickenCheck.in. For chicken recipes, safe handling tips and food safety information, visit www.ChickenRoost.com.
The survey was conducted by ORC International among 1,011 adults aged 18 years or older. It was fielded September 17-20, 2015 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.
—National Chicken Council
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