Your Christmas dinner may be at risk if the outbreak of bird flu continues to spread, as it has in recent weeks, with the virus having been found on turkeys, chickens and swans across the country. So far, only wild birds have been affected by the disease, but there’s no guarantee that this will be the case in future outbreaks. If you eat poultry or turkey products from affected farms, you risk contracting bird flu yourself, especially if you haven’t been vaccinated against it yet.
ENGLAND — As Britain contends with the effects of an increase in avian flu infections, the traditional Christmas turkey feast and the typical English fry-up may be in jeopardy.
Some British shops have warned that supply might be affected, so fried, poached, scrambled, and boiled eggs may no longer be available. Grocery companies have also taken steps to increase turkey stockpiles in preparation for the holiday season.
While the biggest supermarket chain, Tesco, stated in October that it anticipates having enough turkeys for Christmas, according to Reuters, the second-largest retail company in Britain, Sainsbury’s, claims it has purchased additional turkeys to provide itself a “buffer” as the holiday season approaches.
According to reports, shoppers at cheap retailer Lidl are only permitted to buy up to three boxes of eggs, while Asda, the third-largest grocery chain in the U.K., has restricted customers to two boxes per transaction.
The government mandated that all poultry and caged birds in England be kept inside starting on November 7 in an effort to try and limit the extremely contagious disease. This avian flu epidemic is the greatest the U.K. has ever seen.
Bird populations have been slaughtered by governments across Europe to stop the spread of avian flu. Since October 2021, about six million birds have been murdered in the Netherlands alone. Spain, Bulgaria, Denmark, and France have also suffered greatly.
According to the EU Food Safety Agency, about 50 million birds have been slaughtered across Europe this year as nations work to limit the disease.