Turkey producer Bernard Matthews this week reassured retailers and consumers in the wake of damning accusations about cruelty to birds at one of the company's sites in Norfolk.

The Daily Mirror published a report, accompanied by apparently incriminating photographs, alleging that workers had played rounders using turkeys as a ball.

The company admitted it had received enquiries from retailers and 150 phone calls and e-mails from worried members of the public. But a spokesman for the supplier said: "The people involved have been suspended pending a thorough investigation of the matter. We recognise that our systems have failed and are carrying out an immediate review."

It was too early to tell whether sales of Bernard Matthews-branded products had been affected, he added.