USDA Testing Beef for H5N1 Amid Current Outbreak in Dairy Cows

May 02, 2024

On April 29, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that it is now testing ground beef for any presence of the H5N1 virus that continues to spread among dairy cows.

The agency said it is sampling ground beef bought in  in states where dairy cattle have tested positive for the virus, also known as H5N1, CNN reported. Officials are also testing samples of muscle tissue from sick cows that have been culled from their herd. Last but not least, the USDA is injecting a "virus surrogate" into  and then cooking it at different temperatures to see how much virus is killed under each heat setting.

Still, the agency stressed this testing does not mean the beef supply is not safe.

"USDA is confident that the meat supply is safe. USDA has a rigorous meat inspection process" and "multiple safeguards in place to protect consumers," the agency said in a statement, CNN reported.

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