Not very Bootiful: Bernard Matthews hit by data theft

bernard matthewsBernard Matthews, the food business which brought us Turkey Dinosaurs, Turkey Drummers and, more recently, Turkey Unicorns, is risking a roasting after admitting that hard drive containing a raft of staff information has been stolen while a new IT system was being put in place.

Bosses at the company, which has its headquarters in Great Witchingham, Norfolk, have written to staff warning them of the breach and advising them on what measures to take.

The data included a “range of confidential human resources information” but no banking or financial details were taken. It is not known whether the files were encrypted.

The theft, which took place on October 2, has been reported to the police and to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

A spokesman for Bernard Matthews said: “As a precaution we have written to all colleagues informing them of a potential security incident and measures they should take to remain secure online.

“The files in question are security protected, and do not contain any banking details, but nevertheless do contain a range of confidential human resources information.”

The company claims to have “put in place additional security measures to prevent such an incident from happening again”.

This is not the first time Bernard Matthews has suffered a data breach. In February this year, the bank details of 200 staff were stolen in a cyber attack.

Founded in 1950 by Bernard Matthews from his home with his wife, 20 turkey eggs and an incubator, the firm is perhaps best known for its 1980s TV commercial featuring Turkey Breast Roast, with Matthews himself introducing the “Bootiful” catchphrase in a Norfolk accent. Matthews eventually stepped down in 2010 and passed away two years later, aged 82.

The business was sold in 2016 for £87.5m to an investment company owned by Ranjit Singh Boparan.

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