Bird flu detected in American retail milk

(MENAFN) In a recent announcement, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has disclosed the presence of bird flu virus particles in samples of consumer milk across the United States. The revelation sheds light on the scope of an outbreak of the H5N1 strain of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and underscores concerns about its potential impact on public health and food safety.

According to the FDA, traces of the virus have been detected not only in raw milk but also in pasteurized products, albeit in reduced quantities. While pasteurization is believed to deactivate the virus to some extent, it may not entirely eliminate viral particles. This finding has prompted discussions about the efficacy of current processing methods in safeguarding dairy products from viral contamination.

Despite the detection of bird flu in milk samples, the FDA maintains that the commercial milk supply remains safe for consumption. The agency emphasizes that the presence of genetic material from the virus does not necessarily indicate the presence of intact, infectious pathogens. However, this assertion has been met with skepticism by other stakeholders in the dairy industry.

The National Milk Producers Federation has emphasized the importance of sourcing milk only from healthy animals for human consumption. They argue that milk from sick cows should not be permitted for distribution in interstate commerce, echoing concerns about the potential risks associated with contaminated dairy products.

Meanwhile, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reported instances of bird flu in dairy cow herds across eight states, further underscoring the severity of the outbreak. The spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza to bovine livestock has raised alarms among experts and industry observers, signaling the need for enhanced surveillance and response measures.

The emergence of bird flu in the United States retail milk supply highlights the interconnectedness of animal and human health and underscores the importance of robust monitoring systems and preventive strategies. As authorities work to contain the outbreak and mitigate its impact, stakeholders across the dairy industry are called upon to prioritize safety protocols and uphold stringent standards to safeguard public health.



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