Traces Of Bird Flu Virus Found In Milk And Pasteurized Dairy Products

By Bill Galluccio

April 24, 2024

Hispanic couple shopping in grocery store
Photo: Erik Isakson / Tetra images / Getty Images

The United States Food and Drug Administration said it has discovered trace amounts of the highly pathogenic avian influenza, also known as bird flu, in milk and dairy products sold across the country. The findings come amid an outbreak of bird flu in dairy cows in multiple states.

Despite the virus's presence, the FDA said it does not pose a risk to human health because it is inactive.

"The FDA and USDA have indicated that based on the information currently available, our commercial milk supply is safe because of these two reasons: 1) the pasteurization process and 2) the diversion or destruction of milk from sick cows," the FDA said in an update on the virus.

The FDA continued, "Nearly all (99%) of the commercial milk supply produced on dairy farms in the U.S. comes from farms that participate in the Grade 'A' milk program and follow the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO), which includes controls that help ensure the safety of dairy products."

The FDA said it is conducting further tests to ensure the dairy supply is safe.

"The FDA is further assessing any positive findings through egg inoculation tests, a gold-standard for determining viable virus. To date, we have seen nothing that would change our assessment that the commercial milk supply is safe," the agency explained.

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