Farm Progress America, May 7, 2024

Mike Pearson tells listeners how the cattle market has reacted after an announcement last week by the USDA. Testing by the USDA has found no trace of the H5N1 virus in several samples of ground beef.

May 7, 2024

Mike Pearson tells listeners how the cattle market was relieved last week when ground beef samples tested by the USDA proved negative for the bird flu.

Consumers and regulators have been concerned about the possibility of H5N1 or the bird flu being found in ground beef since the discovery of the virus in dairy herds in late March.

A total of 30 samples of ground beef from butcher shops, grocery stores and meat markets were sent for testing in Ames, Iowa to the USDA testing facility.

The tests were performed using the PCR method-- it's normally used for E-Coli and salmonella testing. There was no trace of the virus or virus particles found in any sample.

The safety of the U.S. beef supply is safe and the USDA is confident the meat supply is safe.

There will be additional measures completed including testing dairy cattle culled due to illness to look for particles in muscle tissue.

The second measure will focus on meal preparation for the virus surrogate in ground meat and will be cooked at different temperatures to see what happens.

The USDA is hoping to see results as soon as possible.

As far as the dairy industry is concerned, it is clear that pasteurization is efficient at brekaing up the virus and keeping the food supply safe.

Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Mike Pearson, farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.

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