Young people are so scared of having to handle raw meat that a major UK retailer has decided to introduce new packaging to prevent consumers needing to face the ordeal of grappling with uncooked flesh.
A Mintel report has found that about 37% of millennials (those born after 1980) hated the thought of handling raw meat. Meanwhile, only a quarter of older consumers agreed.
But that’s all about to change - in a sense - with Sainsbury’s introducing ‘touch-free’ packaging for all the kitchen-based scaredy-cats out there.
Katherine Hall, product development manager for meat, fish and poultry at the retailer, told the Sunday Times:
“Customers, particularly younger ones, are quite scared of touching raw meat.
“These bags allow people, especially those who are time-poor, to just ‘rip and tip’ the meat straight into the frying pan without touching it.”
However, Ruth Mason, chief food chain adviser at the National Farmers’ Union, said: “We find it disconcerting that shoppers are so removed from their food that they have these concerns.
“But we are aware it is a growing trend — and a lot of the data suggests there are concerns about handling raw meat.”
Hall explained that young people tend to eat out more and, thus, are not so used to preparing food at home. In addition, the anxiety is probably a consequence of being better educated about the risks of raw eat, such as the contamination of bacteria such as campylobacter, which can cause serious food poisoning.
She even said that some people were so worried about the gross germs that they had entirely covered chicken breasts in antibacterial spray before cooking them.
Of course, that’s overkill of the highest nature, but the fact remains: raw meat (particularly chicken) is covered in germs, some of which can cause serious harm to people if they don’t wash their hands properly afterwards, so maybe this is… a good thing? I’ve certainly seen lax behavior in kitchens right in front of my eyes - enough to send me into a paranoid fluff of extreme proportions.
So maybe encouraging people not to touch raw meat will prevent the spread of - let’s face it - easily avoidable illness, because getting people to wash their hands clearly puts too much faith in them. Give ‘em a slidey packet and maybe we won’t all die.
The special packs will be available in Sainsbury’s stores on May 3.
Make sure you wear a face mask before leaving the house to get them though - the world is full of terrifying airborne monsters just ready to dissolve your lungs and eat your brain. Wear two pairs of shoes too - might be glass on the floor.
(Images: Getty/Gabriel Garcia Marengo)