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Agriculture Department Conducts Testing on Beef for Avian Influenza Virus

USDA Is Testing Ground Beef After Bird Flu Found in Dairy Cows (Credits: CNN)

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that it will be testing beef for the bird flu virus, following reports of infections in cattle across multiple states. Despite this, the agency has reassured the public that the country’s meat supply remains safe.

The USDA is conducting three separate studies to investigate the presence of bird flu in dairy cattle. The first study involves sampling ground beef at retail locations, while the second involves testing muscle beef from culled cows. The third study will examine the effects of cooking beef at varying temperatures on the virus.

The USDA is testing ground beef for bird flu (Credits: The Independent)

The agency has emphasized that it has a robust meat inspection process in place, with multiple safeguards to protect consumers. In a statement, the USDA recommended that consumers handle raw meats properly and cook them to a safe internal temperature to minimize risk.

This move comes after a man in Texas contracted bird flu, which has been spreading among cattle in several states, including Texas, Kansas, Idaho, New Mexico, and Michigan. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this is the first time the virus has been found in cattle in the US.

USDA conducting studies on beef (Credits: ABC News – The Walt Disney Company)

The CDC has stated that the risk of human infection remains low, but people with close or prolonged exposure to infected birds or animals are at greater risk. The agency has also emphasized that proper handling and cooking of meat can reduce the risk of transmission.

Sarah Little, a spokesperson for the Meat Institute, a trade association for the meat industry, has welcomed the USDA’s additional testing, stating that it is “appropriate to ensure public health is protected and to stop the spread of animal disease.”

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