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Avian Influenza Shouldn't Stop Farm-Fresh Turkeys Being Gobbled At Christmas, Says NFU
15/11/05

turkey

The recent hype surrounding Bird Flu should not put the public off ordering north west farm-fresh turkeys for Christmas this year, the NFU said today.

Farmers across the country have been rearing turkeys for Christmas since July are poised and ready for the influx of orders set to be made for their traditionally reared birds over the festive season.

NFU North West Poultry Board Chairman and Knutsford based turkey producer, Mike Bailey, said: "Traditionally reared farm-fresh turkeys are a favourite of British consumers at Christmas time and the public should be assured that north west turkeys, and other poultry products, are perfectly safe to eat.

Both the World Health Organisation and the UK Food Standards Agency have categorically stated that poultry and its derivatives are safe for the consumer.

"A farm-fresh turkey, bought from a local farmer or sourced from your local butcher, is a gastronomic delight. I urge all those wanting these sought after turkeys, which are wonderfully presented, to seek out their preferred choice and order early as we expect demand to be as strong as ever this year."

Mike rears and sells approximately 100,000 turkeys a year and sells them to small supermarket chains and a network of high street butchers in his local area.

The NFU will be launching a website this month to coincide with the Christmas period that will help consumers source the type of turkey they require.

1) Poultry and game is safe to eat. The Food Standards Agency considers that the outbreak of avian flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers. This is because the risk of catching the disease in humans is from being in close contact with live poultry that have the disease and not through eating poultry. There have been no reports of people handling poultry meat getting infected. The World Health Organisation has also advised that there is no health risk from well-cooked poultry meat or from eggs.

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