May 31, 2024


Bird flu discovered in beef in US for first time, USDA says




Bird flu has been detected in beef in the United States for the first time, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced last week.


Officials said the meat from a single sickened dairy cow was not allowed to enter the US food supply and beef remains safe to eat.


The USDA said the virus was found as part of testing of 96 dairy cows that were diverted from the supply as US federal inspectors noticed signs of illness during routine inspections of carcasses at meat processing plants. Bird flu was found in only one of those cows.


Bird flu has been confirmed in dairy cattle herds in nine US states, has been found in milk and has prompted the slaughter of millions of chickens and turkeys. But finding it in beef is a new development for the outbreak, which began in 2022.


The agency said last month that it would test ground beef for bird flu at retail stores, but it has yet to find any sign of the virus.


Even if bird flu were to end up in consumer beef, the USDA said, cooking the meat to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (73.9 Celsius) will kill it just like it kills E. coli and other viruses.

- AP News

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