PORK DISHES were 4.8% more popular in 2004 compared with the previous year.
Diners are choosing pork more often when they eat out, with sausages, bacon and pork-based Chinese dishes the most popular choices, according to the National Pig Association.
But the NPA also reports that the performance of fresh pork is dismal compared to beef.
In order to stimulate demand for pork in restaurant dishes, the Meat and Livestock Commission have taken a road show around catering colleges.
It set out to prove how versatile pork can be, but according to MLC’s Tony Goodger, educating the lecturers is the key to getting the message past on to the students.
The NPA claim that pork dishes served by restaurants are often sub-standard, tough and dry, and additional work is necessary with catering colleges to bring more interesting and versatile pork dishes to the catering sector.
The British Pig Executive is also concerned over the rise in imported pork products, many of which end up in the food service and catering sector.
BPEX Marketing Director, Richard Low, reports approximately two thirds of all imported pork does not conform to UK welfare standards.
Although many retailers are prepared to display the country of origin on pigmeat products, the same rule does not apply in the catering sector.
Country of origin menu labelling is one way in which diners will be able to differentiate between imported and home produced welfare friendly pigmeat, according to the NPA.