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Operators told not to panic about bird flu

22 February 2006

Operators have been told not to panic after the arrival of avian bird flu in France.

As Caterer went to press French authorities had confirmed a dead duck in Ain near Lyon had the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5.

The unfortunate fowl is now under go tests to see if the pathogen was the H5N1 virus that has been linked to several human deaths.

But a spokesman for supplier Brakes said contingency plans were already in place to guarantee continuity of supply, with plans to source poultry from unaffected regions in case of an outbreak in the UK.

"We're monitoring the situation as it continues to develop," said the spokesman. "Our advice is not too panic and for caterers to keep themselves informed so they can answer any questions their customers may have."

By Chris Druce

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