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Beef tissue from a sick dairy cow has tested positive for the chicken flu virus, federal officers stated on Friday.

The cow had been condemned to be culled as a result of it was sick, and the meat didn’t enter the meals provide, based on the U.S. Division of Agriculture. The division continued to emphasize that the business meals provide remained protected.

However the optimistic check, which got here as a part of an ongoing federal examine of beef security, raises considerations about whether or not the virus may make its approach into the business beef provide, posing a well being danger to people.

Thus far, the virus, which is named H5N1, has solely been detected in dairy cattle and never within the beef cattle which might be raised for meat. However consultants consider that the outbreak is greater than the official tally of 58 affected dairy herds in 9 states.

“It’s evident that that is widespread and would require fixed vigilance,” stated Brian Ronholm, the director of meals coverage at Client Reviews, an advocacy group.

General, he stated, he believed that the danger to customers remained low. However, he added, “will probably be necessary for customers to verify they prepare dinner meat to the correct temperature for extra assurance.”

Officers and consultants have stated that thorough cooking was prone to destroy any virus which may make its approach into meat; preliminary lab checks of floor beef helps that concept. .

However Dr. Gail Hansen, an unbiased meals security and veterinary well being knowledgeable who has been crucial of the federal authorities’s response to the dairy cow outbreak, stated that officers have been being overly assured within the security of beef.

“Folks do eat meat uncommon and even uncooked,” she stated. “So as soon as once more the assurances from authorities companies, earlier than the science is in to substantiate or deny the assumptions, proceed to undermine the arrogance by the general public.”

The united statesD.A. stated the truth that inspectors had recognized the ailing cow, and prevented its meat from getting into the meals provide, was proof that its protocols have been working. However some contaminated cows have been asymptomatic and is probably not caught by such inspection techniques. The company has not discovered virus in floor beef samples collected from shops in states the place cows have examined optimistic.

Thus far, the company’s Meals Security and Inspection Service has examined tissue samples from 96 dairy cows that had been condemned due to indicators of illness. Simply samples from one cow examined optimistic for H5N1, based on the company, which is within the strategy of testing further muscle samples.

The findings launched Friday have been additional indication that individuals ought to take care cooking and getting ready meat, stated Dr. David Acheson, a former chief medical officer of the Meals Security and Inspection Service at the united statesD.A.. Meals security consultants suggest at all times totally cooking meat to forestall an infection from extra widespread pathogens equivalent to salmonella, listeria and E. coli.

“These meals security suggestions have been in retailer lengthy earlier than H5N1 grew to become a problem, and they need to at all times be our primary normal,” stated Dr. Keith Poulsen, director of the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory on the College of Wisconsin-Madison.

Earlier this month, the united statesD.A. released results from an experimental examine through which researchers added excessive concentrations of the virus into beef patties. The researchers discovered no virus current within the meat once they cooked the burger to 160 levels Fahrenheit, the inner temperature of a well-done burger, or 145 levels Fahrenheit, the temperature of a burger cooked to medium.

Nevertheless, there was virus current in uncommon burgers, cooked to 120 levels, though at enormously diminished ranges; the company stated cooking to that temperature “considerably inactivated the virus.”

“All indications are: You prepare dinner your meals, even when there’s virus in there, it is going to kill it,” stated Stacey Schultz-Cherry, a virologist and influenza knowledgeable at St. Jude Youngsters’s Analysis Hospital.

Consultants wish to know extra concerning the optimistic pattern, together with the degrees of virus it contained, stated Matthew Moore, a meals science knowledgeable on the College of Massachusetts, Amherst. It’s unclear whether or not the virus was viable or inactivated. Whether or not folks can contract avian flu by consuming contaminated meals additionally stays an open query. A examine printed on Friday discovered that unpasteurized milk contaminated with the virus sickened mice, heightening considerations amongst consultants that consuming uncooked milk might hurt people. Several cats have additionally died after ingesting contaminated uncooked milk.

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