MANILA - (2nd UPDATE) Restaurant operators and chicken producers on Monday said their products were safe to eat, as the government addressed cases of bird flu in farming town north of the capital.
Jollibee Foods Corp, Max's Group, San Miguel Purefoods and Bounty Agro Ventures sought to reassure consumers as authorities tightened quarantine procedures in the vicinity of San Luis town, where 37,000 fowls died due to the disease and 200,000 others were ordered slaughtered.
Fried chicken is among the best sellers in Jollibee's menu and a shortage of its chickenjoy in 2014 was a hot topic on social media.
"JFC sources its local poultry product requirements only from accredited and reputable suppliers in the Philippines that employ the safest food practices in sourcing, manufacturing, preparation and delivery," it said in a statement.
Max's Group made its mark with fried chicken through its eponymous family restaurant. It also operates Pancake House, Yellow Cab, Krispy Kreme and Jamba Juice.
"No direct impact yet on us. Basically our products are safe for consumption," Max's Group compliance manager Paul Cheah told ABS-CBN News.
"We are closely coordinating with our suppliers and they reassured us that the poultry that are delivering to us are regularly tested for influenza and there have been no incidence of infections," he said.
San Miguel Foods, which sells chicken under the Magnolia brand, said its entire broiler flock tested negative for the virus.
"We have implemented rigorous biosecurity measures in all SMFI-controlled farms to avoid contamination from avian influenza. We continue to adhere to international food safety and health standards," it said.
Bounty Agro Ventures, which operates Chooks-to-Go and Uling Roasters, said its products were bird flu-free.
Equities investors will be closely watching companies that do business with chicken, including fastfood giant Jollibee Foods, Eagle Equities president Joey Roxas told ANC's Market Edge with Cathy Yang.
"The incident in Pampanaga might keep people out of fastfood chains for a while, so you will expect less Chickenjoy sales, fewer Max's chickens sold," Roxas said.
Jollibee recovered in late trading from initial losses, after it reported an 18.1-percent increase in net income during the April to June period.