Dr. Judith Hilton, the head of microbiological safety at Britain's Food Standards Agency, believes that salmonella poses more of a risk to consumers than bird flu.
"It isn't a food safety risk," Hilton told a news briefing here. "We advise thorough cooking of poultry meat and eggs. If you cook your poultry and your eggs, you would get rid of any viruses present."
Hilton observed that people in Asia who contracted avian influenza, which has killed 94 people since the end of 2003, were in close contact with infected birds.
So far, H5N1 has not shown it can spread easily from person to person but scientists fear it could mutate into a form that could become highly infectious, even fatal, in humans. Hilton did not address the affects or dangers of such a mutation.
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