What do I need to know about bird flu?
You may have heard about avian influenza or “bird flu” in the news lately—and you have questions. America’s egg farmers are here to answer them.
The first thing you need to know is that both the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirm that avian influenza is not a food safety issue or a public health risk.
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Learn about how egg farmers protect the health and well-being of their hens from avian influenza.
Learn about how egg farmers protect their farms from disease and why avian influenza is not a public health concern.
Learn about why the eggs you buy at the grocery store are safe from avian influenza and safe for you and your family to enjoy.
Frequently Asked Questions About Avian Influenza
Avian influenza (AI) — also called “bird flu” — is an infectious disease of birds caused by type A strains of the influenza virus. There are both low-pathogenic and high-pathogenic strains; the strains currently causing concern in the U.S. are highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).
No. There is no evidence that bird flu can be transmitted through food. As always, it is important to properly handle and cook eggs and meat to reduce the risk of any food-borne illness.
For more information about safe handling and cooking, please visit AEB food safety section.
For information on Food Safety and Avian Influenza, please visit https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/avian-influenza-food-safety-qa.pdf …
Very, very rarely. Bird flu is an animal health issue, not a human health concern. Most people will never have direct and prolonged contact with an infected bird. Additionally, U.S. egg farms follow strict safety protocols to protect their workers from exposure to bird flu.
Avian influenza is transmitted through infected wild birds and waterfowl, either through direct contact or indirectly if the disease is accidentally carried onto a farm by birds, equipment, vehicles or other means. Comprehensive biosecurity measures in place on America’s egg farms help protect our farms from bird flu.
America’s egg farmers work around the clock to protect their hens and farms from bird flu and to ensure the safety of the nation’s egg supply.
Egg farmers and state and federal regulatory authorities work closely together to prevent this disease from affecting American flocks and to catch it eaarly through ongoing surveillance programs.
And comprehensive biosecurity measures are taken on farms to prevent disease every day, not just during a disease outbreak.
U.S. egg farms have rigorous biosecurity measures in place, including, but not limited to:
- Restricting on-farm access to essential employees only — minimizing risk of the disease being brought into the farm by outside sources.
- Housing hens indoors to prevent access to wild birds and waterfowl that may carry the disease.
- Limiting movement (employees, equipment, vehicles, etc.) between farms and barns.
- Requiring protective gear for anyone who enters egg farms.
- Working closely with animal health experts and veterinarians to continuously monitor the health of their hens.
America’s egg farmers maintain extensive safety practices to protect farm workers from exposure to disease. Protective gear is always required for anyone who enters an egg farm.
America’s egg farmers are committed to ensuring that eggs are plentiful. A bird flu outbreak in extreme circumstances could temporarily impact availability of eggs, but egg farmers are prepared to act quickly to restore supply if that happens.