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HomeUSTop US egg producer detects bird flu at Texas plant

Top US egg producer detects bird flu at Texas plant

As a result, the company said it had culled roughly 3.6% of its flock at its facilities in Parmer County, Texas.
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WASHINGTON — Cal-Maine Foods, the largest egg producer in the United States, announced Tuesday it has paused production at a Texas facility after birds there tested positive for avian flu.
The company said it had culled around 1.6 million laying hens and 337,000 pullets, which accounts for roughly 3.6% of its flock at its facilities in Parmer County, Texas. It said it was working to secure production from other facilities to minimize customer disruption.
This comes amid growing concern over the spread of the H5N1 strain of bird flu and just a day after Texas announced the second case of the strain in a human in the country. Health officials believe that infection is tied to the recent discovery of the virus in dairy cows.
Since 2020, a bird flu virus has been spreading among more animal species – including dogs, cats, skunks, bears and even seals and porpoises – in scores of countries. However, the detection in U.S. livestock is an “unexpected and problematic twist,” said Dr. Ali Khan, a former CDC outbreak investigator who is now dean of the University of Nebraska’s public health college.
Cal-Maine said no eggs have been recalled because there is no known risk related to bird flu associated with eggs. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you can’t get bird flu from poultry and eggs that are properly prepared and cooked.
“This is absolutely devastating news for Cal-Maine and the entire Panhandle region which has already suffered so much already,” Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said in a statement. “Given this latest development, all producers must practice heightened biosecurity measures. The rapid spread of this virus means we must act quickly.”

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