Amidst mounting concerns over the human transmission of Avian Influenza in India, the Right To Protein Initiative recently released guidelines to raise awareness on safe consumption of poultry and help consumers mitigate the risk of the disease spreading. These guidelines have been developed in association with the Poultry Federation of India, citing hygiene protocols from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and by the World Health Organization (WHO), to ensure consumers are equipped with the right information to maintain adequate protein consumption in their daily diets.
Ramesh Khatri, president of the Poultry Federation of India and supporter of the Right To Protein Initiative asserts, “While it is important to exercise caution, consumers should not believe myths and misconceptions doing the rounds, and reduce their protein intake. Consuming meat and eggs are safer when sourced from hygienic sources, that is, from poultry owners and farms that rear poultry fed with antioxidants, vitamin C and E, selenium, and soy while maintaining proper biosecurity measures. Additionally, properly cooking meat and eggs at high temperatures using stove-top methods is a safe measure to kill the virus in areas with outbreaks. It is important to continue maintaining a fine balance of nutrition and make informed decisions around dietary changes during this time.”
According to various health organizations, including AIIMS, WHO, and USFDA, the risk of the virus on human health is low, and cases of virus spread in humans have been linked to home slaughter as well as handling of meat from infected birds before cooking. When it comes to human consumption of poultry, guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) state that it is safe to eat chicken and eggs as long as it is properly prepared and cooked at temperatures above 70 degree Celsius. It is also advisable to cook cold cuts before serving and prepare eggs in ways where the yolk is not runny or liquid.
For consumers temporarily avoiding the consumption of poultry, vegetarian sources of protein, including soybean, lentils, quinoa, nuts, and seeds, are viable options to ensure protein intake is maintained at optimal quantities to fulfill daily macronutrient requirements.
Right To Protein recommends staying up to date with advisories issued by the Indian government and public health authorities.
Right To Protein is India’s awareness initiative to educate citizens about the importance of adequate protein consumption for better nutrition, health, and wellbeing. #RightToProtein initiative aspires to build knowledge of different types of protein sources amongst Indians, especially plant protein, to meet larger nutritional goals. Right To Protein aims to develop an ecosystem of professionals to drive protein awareness and debunk myths and misconceptions about protein as a critical macro-nutrient for human health and of many protein foods sources. The ecosystem will aim to improve production and consumption quality and consistency of both plant and animal proteins. Right To Protein is supported by several like-minded Indian and global individuals, academicians, professionals, and institutions. The initiative is open for those who would like to join and/or contribute in any capacity, including providing knowledge, technical support, or as promotion partners.