Largest U.S. fresh egg producer found bird flu in chickens| Trending Viral hub


By KEN MILLER

The largest U.S. producer of fresh eggs said Tuesday it had temporarily halted production at a Texas plant after bird flu was found in chickens, and officials said the virus had also been detected at a poultry facility in Michigan. .

In Texas, Cal-Maine Foods, Inc., based in Ridgeland, Mississippi, said in a statement that approximately 1.6 million laying hens and 337,000 pullets, about 3.6% of its total flock, were destroyed after that the infection, avian influenza, was discovered at the facility in Parmer County, Texas.

The plant is on the Texas-New Mexico border in the Texas Panhandle, about 85 miles (137 kilometers) southwest of Amarillo and about 370 miles (595 kilometers) northwest of Dallas.

“The Company continues to work closely with federal, state and local government officials and specific industry groups to mitigate the risk of future outbreaks and effectively manage the response,” according to the statement.

“Cal-Maine Foods is working to secure production from other facilities to minimize disruption to its customers,” the statement said.

The company said there is no known risk of bird flu associated with eggs currently on the market and no eggs have been recalled.

Eggs that are properly handled and cooked are safe to eat, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Cal-Maine’s announcement comes a day after state health officials said a person had been diagnosed with bird flu after coming into contact with cows presumed to be infected, and the risk to the public remains. being low.

In Michigan, Michigan State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory detected avian flu at a commercial poultry facility in Ionia County, according to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The county is about 100 miles (161 kilometers) northwest of Detroit.

The department said it received confirmation of the illness Monday from the lab and that it is the fourth time since 2022 that the illness has been detected at a commercial facility in Michigan.

Department spokeswoman Jennifer Holton said Tuesday that state law prohibits the department from disclosing the type of poultry at the Ionia facility.

The facility has been quarantined and the department does not anticipate any disruption to supply chains across the state, Holton said.

The human case in Texas marks the first known case worldwide of a person contracting this version of bird flu from a mammal, federal health officials said.

Dairy cows in Texas and Kansas were reported last week infected with bird flu, and federal agriculture officials later confirmed infections in a Michigan dairy herd that had recently received cows from Texas. A dairy herd in Idaho was also added to the list after federal agriculture officials confirmed detection of bird flu in them, according to a Tuesday news release from the USDA.

The company said Cal-Maine sells most of its eggs in the Southwest, Southeast, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States.

Associated Press writer Corey Williams in Detroit contributed to this report.


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