Are the eggs I buy safe from bird flu?
We’ve all been hit with sticker shock lately when shopping at the grocery store.
Retail egg prices reached record highs earlier this winter, due in part to a nationwide bird flu outbreak that resulted in a temporary egg shortage.
Flocks in both cage-free and conventionally raised egg farms have tested positive for bird flu.
Unfortunately, bird flu remains a serious threat to poultry flocks. Animal health experts say migratory wild birds are likely to spread the virus this spring.
While farmers are working hard to protect their flocks, it’s important to remember that the food you buy remains safe.
You won’t get sick from bird flu after eating or handling eggs or poultry products. There have been no cases of bird flu from consuming eggs and poultry, says Dr. Patricia Winokur, an infectious disease expert and executive dean of the University of Iowa Carver School of Medicine.
As always, you should keep food safety top of mind when cooking at home. It is safe to eat properly handled and cooked eggs and poultry, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Cooking poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 degrees kills bacteria and viruses, including bird flu viruses, the USDA says.
As an added safety measure, the USDA also inspects all egg products to ensure quality and safety. Officially inspected egg products will feature a USDA inspection mark.
Iowa farmers remain committed to continuous improvement to ensure the safety, nutrition and sustainability of the foods they grow for all of us.
To learn more about how farmers work to ensure meat quality, food safety and animal well-being, visit the “Real Farmers. Real Food. Real Meat” website.
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