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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 February 2007, 17:18 GMT
Turkey sales 'down by one-third'
Turkey burgers
The report suggests some people are now wary of turkey products
Turkey sales across the UK fell by up to one-third in the immediate aftermath of the bird flu outbreak at a Bernard Matthews farm in Suffolk.

Sales of fresh turkey were down 30% in the week ending 10 February, compared with the seven days previously, said market information firm AC Nielsen.

The company, which gets its data from supermarkets and smaller retailers, said sales of frozen chicken fell 33%.

Sainsbury's said on Tuesday that poultry sales were now recovering.

'Not taking chances'

About 159,000 turkeys were culled at Bernard Matthews' Holton plant after the potentially fatal H5N1 strain of bird flu was discovered on 3 February.

The company, the UK's largest turkey producer, admitted that at one stage following the outbreak, its sales had fallen by 40%.

AC Nielsen's business insight director Jonathan Banks told Reuters news agency that the recorded fall in turkey sales was "more than I was expecting".

He added that despite assurances from food safety experts that cooked turkey and chicken remained safe to eat, some customers were preferring "not to take any chances".


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