The Largest Fresh Egg Producer in the US Has Found Bird Flu in Chickens at Texas and Michigan Plants

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    FILE - Cases of eggs from Cal-Maine Foods, Inc., await to be handed out by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce employees at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds in Jackson, Miss., on Aug. 7, 2020. The largest producer of fresh eggs in the United States said Tuesday, April 2, 2024 that it has stopped production at a Texas plant after bird flu was found in chickens there. Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. said in a statement that approximately 1.6 million laying hens and 337,000 pullets, about 3.6% of its total flock, were destroyed after the infection, avian influenza, was found at the facility in Parmer County, Texas. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, file)

    (AP) – The largest producer of fresh eggs in the U.S. said Tuesday it had temporarily halted production at a Texas plant after bird flu was found in chickens, and officials said the virus had also been detected at poultry facility in Michigan.

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    In Texas, Ridgeland, Mississippi-based Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. said in a statement that approximately 1.6 million laying hens and 337,000 pullets, about 3.6% of its total flock, were destroyed after the infection, avian influenza, was found at the facility in Parmer County, Texas.

    The plant is on the Texas-New Mexico border in the Texas Panhandle about 85 miles (137 kilometers) southwest of Amarillo and about 370 miles (595 kilometers) northwest of Dallas.

    “The Company continues to work closely with federal, state and local government officials and focused industry groups to mitigate the risk of future outbreaks and effectively manage the response,” according to the statement.

    “Cal-Maine Foods is working to secure production from other facilities to minimize disruption to its customers,” the statement said.

    The company said there is no known bird flu risk associated with eggs that are currently in the market and no eggs have been recalled.

    Eggs that are properly handled and cooked are safe to eat, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    The announcement by Cal-Maine comes a day after state health officials said a person had been diagnosed with bird flu after being in contact with cows presumed to be infected, and that the risk to the public remains low.

    In Michigan, Michigan State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has detected bird flu in a commercial poultry facility in Ionia County, according to the Michigan’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    The county is about 100 miles (161 kilometers) northwest of Detroit.

    The department said it received confirmation of the disease Monday from the lab and that it is the fourth time since 2022 that the disease was detected at a commercial facility in Michigan.

    Department spokesperson Jennifer Holton said Tuesday that state law prohibits the department from disclosing the type of poultry at the facility in Ionia.

    The facility has been placed under quarantine and the department does not anticipate any disruptions to supply chains across the state, Holton said.

    The human case in Texas marks the first known instance globally of a person catching this version of bird flu from a mammal, federal health officials said.

    Dairy cows in Texas and Kansas were reported to be infected with bird flu last week — and federal agriculture officials later confirmed infections in a Michigan dairy herd that had recently received cows from Texas.

    The company said Cal-Maine sells most of its eggs in the Southwestern, Southeastern, Midwestern and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States.


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    11 Comments
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    Anon
    Anon
    17 days ago

    Well….
    Here we go again with an increase in egg prices .
    Can a Florida frost be far behind to prompt a raise in citrus prices?

    Closely followed by a mysterious wheat fungus to raise their prices.

    avrumi
    avrumi
    17 days ago

    Just in time for Pesach!!!

    China virus
    China virus
    17 days ago

    In 1996, avian influenza H5N1 virus was first discovered in domestic waterfowl in China. In 1997, it spread to people.In 2003, the virus re-emerged in China and other countriesin Asia and in subsrquent years, the virus diversified and spread across the globe.
    Maybe it was lab-grown like coronavirus?

    amil zola
    amil zola
    16 days ago

    No big news here. Over one year ago (perhaps longer) it was found that wild migrating birds can transmit this virus to domestic bird stocks. USDA/AARS/USDA Extension has been tracking this virus for years.

    The_Truth
    Noble Member
    The_Truth
    16 days ago

    What a surprise! Just before Pesach there is a shortage of eggs and the price will dramatically rise – its almost as if it was planned…

    Itchie Gross
    Itchie Gross
    16 days ago

    Here we go again. Just in time for Pesach, that and Avocado and Eggplant and romaine lettuce.

    I was a democrat until I saw the light
    I was a democrat until I saw the light
    16 days ago

    There is an answer don’t buy eggs let the producers eat them. See how quickly the over priced food drops. It’s called supply and demand. When no one wants something demand goes down so should prices. But just wait chicken will be in short supply too

    anonymous
    anonymous
    16 days ago

    Give them chicken soup.

    R Kook ZL Was a BIG TZADIK
    R Kook ZL Was a BIG TZADIK
    17 days ago

    Biden should have learned form the last time how to better deal with these supply chain bottlenecks. Is the answer to kill all birds?