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Chicken Flu Is Ripping By California’s Farms, and Eating places Are Making an attempt to Deal With out Duck

Chicken Flu Is Ripping By California’s Farms, and Eating places Are Making an attempt to Deal With out Duck

Poultry may soon become scarce in California‘s restaurants.

Bird flu has been sweeping through the U.S. poultry population since February of last year, and it’s gotten so bad in some areas that localities have declared a state of emergency, Eater SF reported on Monday. Farms in Sonoma County, California, have been hit so hard that some 1.1 million birds have been euthanized. And since October, almost 5.5 million chickens, ducks, and turkeys have been euthanized or killed by the disease.

In response to the crisis, restaurants known for their duck have had to adapt to the best of their abilities. Eric Cheung’s Hing Lung Meat Company gets half of its sales from its roast duck, and when bird flu hit last year, Cheung opted to close the restaurant for five days. Now, getting ready to open a new restaurant focused on the meat, called Go Duck Yourself, he’s worried about what might happen.

“It still makes me nervous with the new restaurant coming up,” Cheung told Eater. “It could happen again. In this situation, I think I am better off than a lot of other people, but if I told you I wasn’t nervous, I’d be lying.”

Similarly, Paul Einbund’s the Morris is famous for its smoked duck. The farm from which it gets its poultry was hit by bird flu, though, and that company said it will be out of production in about a week, with likely no inventory until mid-March. While the Morris would prefer to use fresh ducks, it may switch to frozen ones that have tested negative for avian flu.

“Our plan right now is to try and stay with Sonoma,” Einbund told Eater, “because those farms need our help and they’re being so careful. Our goal is definitely to keep supporting the people who we know are doing it right and are watching things and are being super careful, and support local as much as we can—and then if we needed to, we would look further out.”

The current wave of bird flu hasn’t led to closures or menu changes just yet, and chefs and restaurateurs are hoping that it doesn’t come to that this year. Eating poultry at restaurants is still safe, as long as it’s handled and cooked properly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And ordering duck or chicken at your local restaurant may actually help out at this moment.

“We just need more people out there eating more duck,” Michael Jurgielewicz of the duck producer Joe Jurgielewicz & Son told Eater, “to support all the local farms in Sonoma County when they’re back up and running, and just the overall poultry industry.”

Roast duck, anyone?

Source: Robb Report

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