The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has advised the British public to keep £5 notes refrigerated before use.

It follows confirmation by government scientists that there is a risk of degradation due to the high meat content of the new five pound note and that storage guidelines should apply.

The Bank of England is under pressure to find a solution to the problem, which has seen members of the public complain of bloodstained pockets and maggot-infested wallets.

The BoE has issued a statement in an attempt to restore confidence, declaring that a process of smoke-curing future batches of banknotes is likely to take place, in order to further prolong their lifespan.