May 23, 2024


US FDA tests dairy products in 17 states for bird flu virus


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it had tested retail samples of milk and other dairy products in 17 states for viable bird flu virus, providing further details about the locations of these tests, Reuters reported.


The FDA collected 297 samples from retail locations across 17 states between April 18 and 22, 2024. These samples represented products manufactured at 132 processing locations in 38 states.

The agency said even if a sample was collected in one state, the milk in a consumer package could have come from cattle on several farms located in several states, pasteurised in a different state from where the milk was produced, and available for purchase in yet another state.


Since late March, the US has confirmed bird flu in dairy cattle in nine states. The FDA previously reported on May 10, 2024, that no live virus was found in retail milk samples and reiterated that pasteurised milk is safe to drink. However, the agency cautioned against consuming raw milk.


Despite these assurances, scientists believe the outbreak is more widespread than initially thought. The FDA's findings indicated that about 20% of retail milk samples contained remnants of the H5N1 virus.


The samples tested included a variety of dairy products such as cottage cheese, cream, half-and-half (equal parts milk and cream), sour cream, yoghurt, and milk.


-      Reuters

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