BREAKING: New Bird Flu Found In Tyson Chicken
A strain of bird flu has been detected in a chicken breeder flock on a Tennessee farm contracted to U.S. food giant Tyson Foods Inc, and the 73,500 birds will be culled to stop the virus from entering the food system, government and company officials said on Sunday.
Culling refers to the act of killing removed animals. In fruits and vegetables, culling is the sorting or segregation of fresh harvested produce into marketable lots, with the non-marketable lots being discarded or diverted into food processing or non-food processing activities.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said this represented the first confirmed case of highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza (HPAI) in commercial poultry in the United States this year. It is the first time HPAI has been found in Tennessee, the state government said.
Should you be worried? Tyson doesn’t think so.
Tyson, the biggest chicken meat producer in the United States, said in a statement it was working with Tennessee and federal officials to contain the virus by euthanizing the birds on the contract farm.
The U.S.D.A. has also established a quarantine on chicken farms around the area, and Tyson said it was testing chickens on such farms to determine whether the disease had spread.
“All flocks located within a six-mile radius of the farm will be tested and will not be transported unless they test negative for the virus,” Tyson said in a statement on its website. “Based on the limited scope known to us at this time, we don’t expect disruptions to our chicken business.”
Tyson also said this was “a bird health issue and not a food safety or human health concern,” adding that “there’s no evidence to suggest that any form of avian influenza can be transmitted to humans from properly cooked poultry.”
If you recall, an avian flu epidemic led to the culling of some 48 million chickens and turkeys from late 2014 through mid-2015, which eventually affected some turkey producers and backyard poultry growers. Authorities believed…