There are several reasons for the increase in chicken consumption over other protein products. Besides the fact that the price of red meats have been rising in cost over the past decade, as reported by CNN Money in April 2014 (http://money.cnn.com/2014/04/14/news/economy/beef-prices/), Americans, who are becoming seemingly more health conscientious consumers, have become more prone to choosing leaner meats for consumption. In fact, the increased rate of consumption of poultry over the years has been dramatic, to say the least. According to the same Huffington Post article, in the 1950s the average American ate an average of 16 pounds of chicken per person, per year. By 2000 that number had increased to 53 pounds and in 2012 Americans were eating almost 60 pounds of chicken per person each year. In the same year, the estimated output in poultry production was 103.5 million metric tons. That's a lot of chicken.
Because of the high demand for chicken options by consumers, fast food companies and restaurants across the U.S. have been modifying their menus by adding menu items that include or feature the white meat protein. These days, McDonald's isn't just popular for their Big Mac's, but for their chicken options too. In fact, McDonald's is the second largest purchaser of chicken in the country. But they aren't the only ones participating in the chicken craze. From 2009 to 2012, restaurants across the country saw a 12 percent increase in menu items that included chicken.
So, the poultry industry is one that's booming and shows no signs of slowing in a society that is attempting to become more health conscious and fiscally responsible. Still, because Americans today consume more poultry than any other meat product, there is more potential for illness from poultry consumption simply because it is consumed on such a large scale. Fortunately for us, however, the chicken that's laying on top of our Caesar salads or replacing beef patties between our burger buns has gone through a rigorous series of inspections and is required to meet very specific health regulations, from the minute the egg is hatched to the transporting of the ready-to-prepare poultry product.
Of course, there are many factors that contribute to the health of a poultry product that is safe to consume by humans, including sanitation, poultry feed, environmental conditions, hormone and antibiotic use, but perhaps, as important as meeting these health standards, is the monitoring of temperature at each stage of chicken's life, from the incubator to the processing plant. The close monitoring of temperature standards are monumental in guaranteeing not only that people are consuming a product that is delicious and safe to eat, but also, that poultry production companies are achieving maximum production rates to meet high consumer demand.
Control of temperatures is vital in maintaining the quality and safety of refrigerated foods throughout the food continuum, whether it be maintaining warm temperatures for chicken eggs to facilitate hatching or cooler temperatures for preventing the growth of harmful bacterias in perishable foods that could cause food born illness. The consequences of not observing proper temperatures standards during different stages of poultry production can lead to great health risks for not only the chicken, but also the human consumer.
In order to ensure that the chicken dishes that we are opting for more and more are safe for consumption, temperature conditions must be monitored as closely as sanitary conditions. It can be an expensive waste of time and resources when huge quantities of poultry product have to be trashed because of improper temperature storage and although the monitoring of temperature at each, unique stage of the chicken's life can seem like a daunting task, it shouldn't! It's a job that can be made exponentially easier by having it done automatically with the availability of efficient and accurate temperature monitoring systems that can alert appropriate people when something goes wrong and temperatures reach dangerous levels. With temperature monitoring devices, not only can the health of the poultry product be more accurately guaranteed safe for consumption, but also, can poultry companies ensure maximum production rates.