Restaurants nationwide are putting pork on their customers’ platters more often, according to a new study. The report from the Iowa-based National Pork Producers Council finds pork use in the food service industry has grown 17 percent in the past three years.Larry Cizek is the Des Moines-based council’s director of food service marketing. He says between 1996 and ’99, restaurants surveyed showed a significant growth in the use of pork — using one-point-three billion additional pounds of pork. Cizek says the 17-percent growth rate of pork during the past three years is more than twice as large as the growth rate of the food industry itself. He says many pork products are accounting for the surge.He says bacon saw the highest growth at 19-percent; processed ham and pork sausage each grew by 18-percent; while baby back ribs and specialty sausage grew by six percent.
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