The Bernard Matthews plant in Suffolk at the centre of the recent outbreak of avian flu is expected to restart production this morning.

“Following cleansing and disinfection on the Holton site, the Meat Hygiene Service has re-licensed the slaughter house following the SVS inspection and clearance for reopening,” said environment secretary David Miliband.

Poultry is expected to arrive at the site from 9.00am from other Bernard Matthews sites across the UK.

The cause of the outbreak, which led to 159,000 birds being destroyed, is still unknown, although investigations are centred on meat imported by the company from Hungary.

A full report is expected by the end of the week, Milliband added.

Dame Deirdre Hutton from the Food Standards Agency, said: "The investigation so far has not found anything that raises the risk to public health. It is still a possibility that infected poultry has entered the food chain but the risk to public health remains low."