The Facts about Avian Influenza and Eggs

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The Facts about Avian Influenza and Eggs
In light of the current events overseas involving avian influenza, we want to take this opportunity to share some important facts about the virus and the measures in place to safeguard the U.S. egg supply. Armed with this knowledge, Americans can continue to enjoy eating eggs with the confidence that they are safe.

• You cannot get avian influenza from a properly cooked egg.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization all agree that properly cooked poultry products are safe to eat. The avian influenza virus, if present in meat or eggs, is destroyed by the heat of normal cooking.

• There are many strict controls in place to ensure our food supply remains safe.
If an avian influenza outbreak were to affect a farm, sick birds would quickly stop producing eggs. Any poor-quality eggs that are laid during the very initial phase of the outbreak would be sorted out during the grading and inspection process. The affected farm and surrounding area would also be placed under quarantine.

• The egg and poultry industries work closely with local, state and federal animal health officials in an effort to monitor developments related to avian influenza closely and to protect the health and well-being of our flocks.
In recent years, the egg industry has implemented programs that help prevent the introduction of this virus, including strict surveillance and testing, along with bio security and food-safety programs.

• Avian influenza is a naturally occurring illness in birds. The industry has successfully eradicated outbreaks over the past several decades and is prepared to prevent and control outbreaks in the future.
In fact, most forms of the avian influenza virus are mild, cause no visible illness in birds and pose no public health threat.