Don't Panic, But Bird Flu Was Detected in Grocery Milk


SAN ANGELO, TX - "There is no reason for consumers to panic," Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller stated in response to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) report that one in five samples of grocery milk tested positive for bird flu.

"Milk and dairy products remain safe for consumption,” Miller stated. “Milk from affected cows is discarded before it can enter the supply chain. In the rare event that contaminated milk does enter the supply chain, pasteurization effectively kills viruses even if traces of the virus remain detectable."

The pasteurization process involves heating milk to around 161 degrees for 15 to 30 seconds, according to TDA.

The USDA has detected the bird flu at 33 dairy cattle facilities across eight states, including Texas. According to TDA, the USDA is implementing new health mandates that go into effect on April 29, including the following:

  1. Dairy cattle are required to receive a negative test for influenza A virus at an approved National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) facility before interstate movement.
  2. Owners of herds in which dairy cattle test positive for interstate movement will be required to provide epidemiological information, including animal movement tracing.
  3. Dairy cattle moving interstate must adhere to conditions specified by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). 
  4. These steps will immediately be required for lactating dairy cattle. These requirements for other classes of dairy cattle will be based on scientific factors concerning the virus and its evolving risk profile.
  5. Laboratories and state veterinarians must report positive influenza A nucleic acid detection diagnostic results (e.g., PCR or genetic sequencing) and positive influenza A serology diagnostic results in livestock to APHIS.

Miller said he does not anticipate any milk shortages or price hikes.

Subscribe to the LIVE! Daily

The LIVE! Daily is the "newspaper to your email" for San Angelo. Each content-packed edition has weather, the popular Top of the Email opinion and rumor mill column, news around the state of Texas, news around west Texas, the latest news stories from San Angelo LIVE!, events, and the most recent obituaries. The bottom of the email contains the most recent rants and comments. The LIVE! daily is emailed 5 days per week. On Sundays, subscribers receive the West Texas Real Estate LIVE! email.


Most Recent Videos

Post a comment to this article here:

X Close