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USDA finds H5N1 in dairy cow muscle sample

USDA finds H5N1 in dairy cow muscle sample

By Jamie Martin

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) found H5N1 viral particles in muscle tissue from a condemned dairy cow during routine testing. However, no meat from this cow entered the food supply. This finding highlights the effectiveness of food safety measures in place.

The FSIS, along with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), conducted tests on muscle samples from 96 condemned dairy cows. These cows are prohibited from entering the food supply due to systemic diseases. While one cow tested positive for H5N1, no contaminated meat was distributed for consumption.

In response to this finding, FSIS and APHIS are conducting traceback investigations and notifying the producer for further information. Post-mortem inspections by FSIS personnel identified signs of illness in the positive animal, reaffirming the effectiveness of food inspection procedures.

Despite this isolated incident, the USDA assures consumers of the safety of the meat supply. Rigorous inspection processes, including pre- and post-mortem examinations of livestock, ensure that only healthy animals enter the food supply chain.

Ongoing research by USDA's FSIS, APHIS, and Agricultural Research Service (ARS) further reinforces consumer confidence. Studies include beef muscle sampling, ground beef testing at retail outlets, and cooking experiments to assess the effectiveness of recommended cooking temperatures in inactivating H5N1 virus.

As testing continues and results are analyzed, the USDA remains committed to maintaining the safety and integrity of the meat supply.

Photo Credit: usda

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