Consuming Beef And Chicken During The Bird Flu: Is It Safe to Do So?

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Consuming Beef And Chicken During The Bird Flu: Is It Safe to Do So?

Bird flu has been discovered in dairy cattle in nine states in recent days. While the disease poses a major concern if transferred to humans, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which is testing ground beef for bird flu particles, believes it is unlikely that beef contains bird flu. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported last week that non-infectious traces of the bird flu virus were discovered in pasteurized milk.

Here’s everything you need to know about this new threat and what you can do right now to safeguard your own and your loved ones’ well-being.

Is it possible to contract bird flu from dairy, beef, and chicken?

While there are concerns, animals have been significantly more affected than humans thus far. Bird flu is very contagious in birds but not among humans, so there is no reason to be afraid about the virus spreading interpersonally.

Despite the ongoing bird flu pandemic, the issue seems to be under control, with linked organizations acting fast. This is why eating chicken or beef is seriously unlikely to make you ill. Not to mention that the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service program works diligently and precisely to prevent diseased animals from entering the food chain.

On April 1st, the CDC announced that only one human case had been verified following contact with sick dairy cows. The CDC’s earlier report, dated April 28, 2022, stated that a person in Colorado contracted bird flu after being directly exposed to infected poultry. In both cases, the symptoms were described as minimal, and the patients recovered lightning-fast.

Overall, experts contend that eating thoroughly cooked or pasteurized food is absolutely safe and leaves no room for worry. The FDA figured out that the presence of bird flu virus in dairy did not constitute a cause for alarm. As of yet, no one has contracted bird flu via food, and only two farmworkers have been affected since the disease was found earlier this spring.

May milk be infected?

Recently the FDA reported that one of every five commercially available milk samples tested positive for the bird flu. However, this is not cause for concern. The milk was tested using a technology called quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), which looks for viral fragments. So a positive result does not necessarily imply the presence of a live virus capable of infecting and causing disease. In other words, qPCR cannot detect the presence of live viruses in a sample.

These findings demonstrate that pasteurization generally works well, so you may be confident that commercially accessible milk is safe. This brings us to another point: you should exercise caution when purchasing raw milk from small farms or individual vendors since the milk has not been pasteurized in this manner.

Can poultry be infected?

The good news is that, like eggs, the chance of purchasing sick chicken from the grocery store is extremely minimal. The USDA and FDA have forecast a 95% possibility that because the virus would cause relatively significant mortality among chickens, producers would be aware of the infection before the animals are prepared for sale, making it so that contaminated chicken would most likely not reach retailers. On the other hand, experts concluded that there is a 5% probability that infected chickens of market size will be slaughtered and sold before the virus may be detected.

So, how can you enjoy delicious chicken to the fullest while remaining completely safe? As a general guideline, keep raw chicken away from uncooked foods, and cook it at 165°F (74°C). Cooking chicken at high temperatures likely kills any viruses that could spread to humans and make them sick.

Is it safe to consume beef and chicken during the bird flu?

With sufficient measures, human-to-human transmission of the bird flu is improbable. One strategy to protect oneself is to avoid direct contact with diseased birds, their droppings, or polluted coop areas, because in the rare cases when people have contracted bird flu, it was due to such exposure rather than continuous person-to-person interactions.

When it comes to precautions, the CDC recommends that individuals protect themselves from bird flu by avoiding contact with sick or dead animals, both wild and domestic, including their cadavers, unpasteurized milk, waste, litter, or any other materials infected by them.

Bird flu is particularly susceptible to heat, and typical cooking temperatures are more than enough to eradicate it completely. To add an added degree of security, ensure that your meat is completely cooked. Pasteurization of milk and dairy products will also kill any bird flu virus that may be present.

How to safely eat chicken and beef during the bird flu?

The following are the USDA’s guidelines for safely preparing beef, chicken, and eggs:

  1. Keep raw chicken and eggs separate from other foods, particularly uncooked foods.
  2. Before and after handling or cooking raw chicken and eggs, thoroughly cleanse your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds.
  3. To sterilize your cutting board, dilute 1 tablespoon bleach with 1 gallon of water.
  4. After chopping meat, carefully wash your cutting board, knife, and countertop with hot, soapy water.
  5. During cooking, use a food thermometer to confirm the internal temperature of 165°F (73.9°C) for chicken and 145°F (62.8°C) for beef.

For further information, check out the “Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart” on the USDA’s website.

Conclusion

With the ongoing bird flu pandemic in the United States, there are questions regarding whether it is safe to eat chicken or beef because the virus can be detected in both. While it is very contagious in animal populations, there is no possible interpersonal spreading of the virus. The USDA’s inspection procedure also reduces the danger of catching the bird flu while eating beef, poultry, and eggs.

Bird flu is unlikely to represent a significant risk if suitable safeguards are taken while working directly with animals. Proper cooking and handling of beef, poultry, and eggs will also help to assure their safety for consumption.

Tags:  chicken, Eggs, Dairy products, Milk, Cheese, ehealthy99,  healthtips, daily health tips, wightloss, birdflu

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