"Authorities in Britain have been caught on the back foot after it was revealed by the media that turkey meat from Hungary had been allowed into the country.
The meat, 20 tons of it, was imported into the country only three days after an outbreak of the deadly H5N1 virus was confirmed at a farm in Suffolk, owned by Bernard Matthews.
It seems government inspectors did nothing even though they knew the meat was coming from a slaughterhouse 50 km from the site of a Hungarian bird flu outbreak in January.
The British government is defending the decision to allow the turkey meat into the country.
Bernard Matthews is one of Europe's largest turkey producers and has large farms in England and in Hungary.
Initially any suggestion of a link between the two enterprises and the outbreak of the deadly virus in the UK was hotly denied by both the British authorities and the company.
The Hungarian outbreak was at a goose farm in Szentes in Hungary 160 miles from the Bernard Matthews farm in Sarvar.
The Hungarian meat was processed at the Suffolk farm in sheds a few hundred yards from the where 160,000 turkeys were culled after the bird flu virus was found.
According to the Environment Secretary David Miliband, European Union (EU) rules restricts the movement of turkey within a 30 km radius of an avian flu outbreak, and Britain would have been inviting retaliation if it had imposed a ban on all poultry from Hungary.
Miliband insists the government behaved correctly in rigorously implementing the EU rules but this is the same government which initially suggested the British infection was most likely from wild birds.
The authorities have since admitted a link with Hungary was possible after tests showed the virus to be identical to the Hungarian one and now say it could have been spread by infected meat.
Bernard Matthews has now suspended the movement of poultry products between its British and Hungarian operations and says it had not imported any turkey meat from farms within the Hungarian restriction zone.
In Hungary officials are checking if there could be a link between the two outbreaks, but are skeptical that live birds could have been contaminated the virus in processed meat.
British officials speculate that the virus could also have reached British shores on vehicles from Hungary.
Critics have labelled the authorities behaviour as "completely ridiculous" in allowing the Hungarian shipment into the country last week in view of the potential massive public health risk.
Miliband says government agencies are working with Hungarian authorities and Bernard Matthews to track down a lapse in bio-security that led to the Suffolk outbreak.
Experts however say as it remains unclear where the outbreak in Hungary came from as there could be a third source of infection which was most likely spread by human contact.
Apparently an abattoir in Hungary handled both the geese that were infected with H5N1 and the turkeys destined for Suffolk and although the equipment would have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected the virus could easily have been passed on to the turkeys."
Oh yeah, 30km is way too close to an outbreak to import chickens from, but another 20km makes it absolutely safe! What spectacular business practices! Way to stick exactly to the letter of EU law, Bernard Mathews!
Not to mention, the Suffolk processing plant is still in full operation. I'm sure it got a thorough cleaning, however, in the three days before it began importing and processing H5N1-infected birds.
"Bernard Mathews: Spreading H5N1 as far and as fast as we can to serve you! Please try the chicken!"
I wouldn't want to be that company's spokesperson right now. Hot is the seat that lax bird flu controls creates.
This reminds me of a truism I just created right now: Never trust a corporation that has a first and last name. The more a corporation acts like a real person the more its gonna fuck-up.