A supermarket is to introduce touch-free packaging to help millennials who are afraid to handle raw meat.

Sainsbury's will be bringing in pouches that allows customers to place chicken pieces straight into a frying pan without having to touch them.

The supermarket chain said the plastic pouches were developed after consumers under the age of 35 said they didn't like to handle uncooked meat.

Any prospect of having to be in contact with the raw produce left the millennials with high levels of anxiety, the store's survey showed.


"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," Katherine Hall, product development manager for meat, fish and poultry at the retailer, told The Sunday Times.

She added that much of the anxiety over raw chicken came from a lack of education as more young people dine out in restaurants and aren't preparing as much food at home.

The fear of contamination by bacteria such as campylobacter, which can cause serious, even lethal, food poisoning, when discovered in some raw poultry, was so great that one woman in the focus group said she coated her chicken with antibacterial spray before cooking it, Hall recalled.

Thirty-seven per cent of millennials - born after 1980 - preferred not to touch raw meat, compared with a little more than a quarter of the wider population, a report from the market research firm Mintel found.

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."

Sainsbury's chicken-in-a-pouch range goes on sale on May 3. There will be a selection to pick from including citrus tikka chicken pieces and teriyaki-style pieces. If popular, the range will be expanded to include pork and fish.