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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 March 2007, 16:56 GMT
Food passed through bird flu site
Workers wearing protective clothing
Poultry entering the food-chain was from the UK, Hungary and Brazil
Hundreds of tons of poultry passed through the Bernard Matthews plant and entered the food chain during the bird flu outbreak, the government has said.

Public health minister Caroline Flint said 850 tons of turkey, some from Hungary, passed through the infected plant in Holton in Suffolk.

This was between confirmation of the outbreak of avian influenza and the resumption of production at the plant.

"This meat was from birds slaughtered prior to 2 February," she said.

The minister stressed that no-one involved in meat processing had come into contact with live birds at another part of the site.

The Food Standards Agency said none of the meat went near the sheds where infected birds were found and it was processed on other areas of the site.

The minister said 757 tons of the turkey was from the UK and 93 tons was from Hungary - the country suspected as being the source of the outbreak.

A further 50 tons of chicken from Brazil also passed through the plant.

Nearly 160,000 turkeys were culled at the firm's Holton plant after the potentially fatal H5N1 strain of bird flu was discovered on 3 February.

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