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EU insists poultry safe to eat despite bird flu

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EU insists poultry safe to eat despite bird flu


A row has broken out over safety advice amid fears bird flu could spread via poultry and eggs. The European Commission has repeated its claims that consumers face no risk from eating the products, while Europe’s food safety agency (EFSA) says the threat cannot be entirely ruled out.

The conflicting comments have created anger in Italy where many consumers say they do not know what to think. “I’ve stopped eating eggs because I’m too afraid,” said one woman in Rome’s central market. But another shopper said: “I’ll only stop eating poultry if I’m ordered to, otherwise I’ll continue if it’s only recommended.” The Italian government has demanded a public apology from Europe’s food safety agency for creating panic and contributing to sliding sales. Poultry products have reportedly fallen by 25 percent in France and an estimated 30 percent in Italy. The deadly H5N1 strain, which has killed some 60 people in Asia, has already been confirmed in Russia, Turkey and Romania. Croatia became the latest European country to confirm the presence of bird flu on Wednesday after dead swans were tested positive for H5N1. Germany and Greece are still testing dead birds to see if they died of the virus.
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