Avian influenza not a human health threat, poultry industry says

Avian influenza not a human health threat, poultry industry says

Poultry industry reminds consumers food supply is safe following detections of avian influenza in the U.S.

Following recent detections of avian influenza in the United States, the U.S. poultry industry on Friday said detailed response plans are in place for controlling the spread of the virus and for eliminating the virus entirely.

Related: Minnesota turkey farm depopulates following avian influenza outbreak

The U.S. government and poultry industries have sophisticated systems and techniques to detect the introduction of the virus into a commercial poultry flock and have proven methods to quickly eliminate the virus, poultry groups said.

Poultry industry reminds consumers food supply is safe following detections of avian influenza in the U.S.

"The U.S. poultry industry has a strong avian influenza testing and detection program administered by the federal National Poultry Improvement Plan, in addition to each state's individual response plan," said a statement from the groups – the National Chicken Council, Natonal Turkey Federation, United Egg Producers, USA Poultry and Egg Export Council and U.S. Poultry.

"Poultry farmers also maintain strict biosecurity measures year-round, keep their flocks protected from wild birds and routinely test flocks for avian influenza," the statement said.

The industry said the network of state and federal agencies, working in conjunction with the poultry industry, has already executed procedures to quarantine any affected flock and reduce the impact of these instances.

Related: Avian Flu Quarantine Lifted in Washington's Clallam County

"None of birds from the affected flocks are viable for sale and have not entered the food chain," the groups said.

Though two different strains of the AI virus have been detected, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service have confirmed there is no immediate public health concern with either of these avian influenza viruses.

Both H5N2 and H5N8 viruses have been found in other parts of the world and have not caused any human infection to date. As a reminder though, the proper handling and cooking of poultry to an internal temperature of 165 °F kills bacteria and viruses.

Source: U.S. poultry industry

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