Halstead: Feathers unruffled by turkey infection

Halstead Gazette: Halstead: Feathers unruffled by turkey infection Halstead: Feathers unruffled by turkey infection

Farmers and butchers insist they are unconcerned by a MRSA outbreak in turkeys less than a month before Christmas.

Inspectors identified the infection in a flock of birds on an East Anglian farm, but Food Standards Agency and Defra officials insisted any risk to human health was very low and allowed the turkeys to be sold as normal.

It had initially been suggested consumer confidence could be damaged, but butcheries and farms across the Halstead area claim the discovery of the livestock strain of the superbug has been blown out of proportion.

Andrew Callaghan, who manages the Meat Inn, in The Centre, said: “Order-wise, they’re still coming in nicely.

“I’ve only had one customer who said something about it. Other than that, I haven’t noticed any difference at all.”

Roger Barron, a partner at G & J Barron, in Chappel, which rears about 2,000 turkeys every year for Christmas, was also unconcerned.

Steve Wearne, director of policy at the Food Standards Agency, said: “Any risk of contracting MRSA through meat from animals with these bacteria is very low when usual good hygiene and thorough cooking practices are observed.

“All poultry should be handled hygienically and cooked thoroughly to destroy any bacteria that may be present.”

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