Tyson Foods It says it is stepping up biosecurity on its farms after a flock of chickens in Kentucky tested positive for bird flu.
So far, the company has known only one damaged home on a farm in Fulton County, Kentucky, and it’s one of thousands of farms that raise chickens for the company.
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Earlier this week, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed the presence of bird flu in Kentucky and Virginia, raising fears of a widespread bird flu outbreak. Avian influenza can lead to higher mortality rates in birds. In 2015, 50 million birds in 15 states were killed by the outbreak, costing the federal government nearly $1 billion.
The USDA said it had detected the virus in an unknown number of birds from a flock of commercial poultry in Fulton County. The agency said Monday that “birds on the property will be released from residents to prevent the spread of disease” and that “resettlement to Virginia has been completed.”
Tyson Foods has not disclosed the size of Kentucky’s flock.
The USDA is awaiting results of a possible second case 124 miles northeast of Webster County, Kentucky. Meanwhile, a flock of mixed birds in a northern Virginia backyard also tested positive for the virus.
Earlier this month, the presence of the bird flu virus was confirmed on a commercial turkey farm in southern Indiana.
“The flocks will not be included in the diet,” the agency said.
The USDA, which cited data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), added that these bird flu findings “do not constitute an immediate public health concern.”
The agency also reminds consumers that properly prepared and cooked eggs and poultry to an internal temperature of 165 degrees eliminate bacteria and viruses.
Tyson said her chicken products remain safe for consumers and that she is working with state and federal officials to prevent the spread of the virus.
To limit the spread of disease, Tyson is tightening biosecurity measures at other farms in the area, imposing additional restrictions on outside visitors and continuing our practice of checking all flocks for bird flu before birds leave the farms.
The company said the accident on one of its farms is not expected to affect production levels.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
The original title of this story has been updated for clarity
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