Home Food Bird flu found in beef from US dairy cow as outbreak intensifies

Bird flu found in beef from US dairy cow as outbreak intensifies

by Ohio Digital News

Dive Brief:

  • Beef tissue from a sick dairy cow sent to slaughter tested positive for bird flu, the Agriculture Department said on Friday, the first time the virus has been identified as part of the USDA’s food safety study.

  • The muscle and tissue samples came from one of 96 dairy cows condemned to be culled due to illness at federally inspected slaughterhouses. Samples from the remaining cows tested negative for the virus and none of the beef entered the U.S. food supply.

  • USDA agencies are conducting traceback efforts to ensure no contaminated meat enters the food chain as more bird flu cases emerge, including a major outbreak at an Iowa egg farm leading to the death of 4.2 million birds.

Dive Insight:

The USDA has stressed that the risk to consumers remains low, and food safety actions taken so far “provide further confidence that the food safety system we have in place is working.” 

However,  positive test results come as more cases are reported in poultry and dairy operations. At least 67 dairy herds have been confirmed to be affected by the virus, with 15 herds reporting cases last week.

Iowa announced the state’s largest bird flu outbreak in two years at a poultry farm in Sioux County. Crews are in the process of killing 4.2 million birds to curb the virus, an official confirmed to Agriculture Dive.

In response, Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday signed an emergency disaster proclamation that allows the state to reallocate resources for monitoring and containment of the virus, as well as disposal and disinfection efforts.

Recently, the U.S. has ramped up its response to the virus,  investing $200 million into testing, research, supplies and incentives to contain bird flu in commercial poultry and cattle, including money for dairy farmers who develop biosecurity plans to keep workers and animals safe. 

The CDC has asked state health officials to work with agricultural partners to make face masks and other protective equipment available to livestock operators as more bird flu information is gathered. The health agency recently issued protective guidance for poultry and livestock farmers and workers, including slaughterhouse employees that handle dairy cow responsibilities. 

Dairy cows make up nearly 7% of total beef production in the U.S., according to the Meat Institute. Previous USDA studies that injected bird flu in ground meat found that the cooking process inactivated the virus. 

Outside of the U.S., Australia recently recorded its first human case of bird flu in a child and identified different strains of the virus at two poultry farms in Victoria. The U.S., Europe and other countries have taken steps in securing preventive vaccines for at-risk farm workers, veterinarians and lab technicians, Reuters reported.

Source link

related posts