Eggs recalled after bird flu outbreak [April Fools]

Consumers have been called on to return Easter eggs following a new outbreak of bird flu.

Local supermarkets issued the recall, following an announcement of the new outbreak early this morning (Sunday 1 April).

Avian influenza (bird flu) was detected in chickens for the first time in June last year in Mpumalanga. The disease has since spread, with the Western Cape being severely affected.

The disease has affected breeding chickens and has been attributed to a shortage, and increase in the price, of eggs.

Cases have been recorded among wild bird species, and had previously thought to be under control prior to the Easter weekend recurrence.

Supermarkets recently recalled thousands of meat products following a listeriosis outbreak, traced to Enterprise factories in Polokwane and Germiston. Rainbow Chicken factories were also found to have traces of Listeria.

This is just another knock to the poultry industry, which was forced to cull around four million chickens in the avian flu outbreak last year.

While bird flu cannot be passed on via cooked eggs, uncooked chocolate and marshmallow eggs should be returned immediately, says Poultry Association spokesperson Dr Jo Kesonyou.

Capetonians should return the Easter eggs to their supermarkets immediately, Kesonyou says, but no refunds will be issued until the source of the outbreak is established.

Kesonyou declined to speculate on the source of the outbreak, saying initial testing had led them on an egg hunt through various poultry farms, including those owned by conglomerate Bunn Y Industries.

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