There is no bird flu in the UK. The biosecurity is too good for that to happen. OK. There is bird flu in the UK but it is well confined. It must have gotten there from wild birds. Biosecurity is too good for anything else. OK. It might have gotten to the UK on a truck from Hungary where there is bird flu in poultry. But it’s well confined. OK. It’s not well confined, but just affects turkeys in one small shed on one farm. OK. It somehow got out of that shed and infected birds in three other sheds on that farm. But it’s confined to that farm. OK. It’s possible it got loose into wild animals. We don’t know. But there isn’t any risk to humans because it didn’t get into the food supply. OK. It probably got into the food supply, but it’s not dangerous to consumers because if you cook the food properly the virus is inactivated. So it’s not necessary to pull turkeys from supermarket shelves. OK. That’s the story so far (see here, here, here):
The Food Standards Agency confirmed today that it was investigating the possibility that turkey meat contaminated by bird flu at a Bernard Matthews poultry farm has entered the human food chain.
The government’s chief scientist, Sir David King, said the agency would be considering ordering supermarkets to remove packaged turkey from shelves after it emerged that Bernard Matthews had been transporting turkey meat from Hungary to the Suffolk farm where the H5N1 strain of the virus was discovered.
Sir David confirmed that the latest scientific findings suggested the “most likely scenario” was that the virus had been brought into the UK by dead poultry rather than by wild birds, as originally thought.
Mr Bradshaw said the government was investigating whether there had been “bio-security breaches” at the plant.
“As part of the investigation into what might have caused the outbreak of bird flu in a Suffolk poultry farm, the agency will check that no infected meat has got into food,” the FSA said in a statement.
“Our advice that avian flu does not pose a food safety risk remains unchanged.(The Guardian)
OK. Forget that other stuff. Where are we? Authorities in the UK aren’t sure how the virus got into Europe’s largest turkey producer. If it wasn’t wild birds, then it was a pretty big failure in the vaunted biosecurity measures in two countries, Hungary and the UK. The trucks that carried the birds also passed through numerous countries in the EU. Once ensconced in the UK there is now the specter it got off the farm via wildlife. So far there is no evidence of this, but the issue has been raised. Infected meat likely got into the food chain. But there’s no risk to consumers.