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Largest fresh egg producer in U.S. finds bird flu in chickens at Texas and Michigan plants

The largest producer of fresh eggs in the United States said Tuesday it had temporarily halted production at a Texas plant after bird flu was found in chickens, and officials said the virus had also been detected in a poultry facility in the United States. Michigan.

In Texas, Cal-Maine Foods, Inc., based in Ridgeland, Mississippi, said in a statement that about 1.6 million laying hens and 337,000 pullets, or about 3.6 percent of its total flock, were destroyed after the discovery of the infection, bird flu, in the establishment. facility in Parmer County, Texas.

The plant is on the Texas-New Mexico border in the Texas Panhandle, approximately 85 miles southwest of Amarillo and approximately 370 miles northwest of Dallas.

“The company continues to work closely with federal, state and local authorities and targeted industry groups to mitigate the risk of future outbreaks and effectively manage the response,” according to the release. “Cal-Maine Foods is working to secure production at other facilities to minimize disruption to our customers.”

The company said there was no information known risk of bird flu associated with eggs which are currently on the market and no eggs have been recalled. Properly handled and cooked eggs are safe to eat, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Cal-Maine’s announcement comes a day after state health officials said one person had been diagnosed with bird flu after coming into contact with cows presumed infected and the risk to the public remains low.

In Michigan, the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory detected avian influenza in a commercial poultry facility in Ionia County, according to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The county is located about 100 miles northwest of Detroit.

The department said it received laboratory confirmation of the disease on Monday and that this is the fourth time since 2022 that the disease has been detected in a specific location. commercial facility in michigan.

Department spokeswoman Jennifer Holton said Tuesday that state law prohibits the department from disclosing the type of poultry at the Ionia facility.

The facility has been placed on quarantine and the department does not anticipate any disruption to supply chains statewide, Holton said.

THE human case in Texas This is the world’s first known case of a person catching this version of avian flu from a mammal, federal health officials said.

Dairy cows in Texas and Kansas were reported to have been infected with bird flu last week — and federal agriculture officials later confirmed infections in a Michigan dairy herd that had recently received cows from Texas.

The company declared Cal-Maine sells most of its eggs in the Southwest, Southeast, Midwest, and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States.

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