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H1N1: NPPC Reiterates Safety of Pork Consumption

by 5m Editor
19 October 2009, at 10:37am

US - Given Friday’s statement by the US Department of Agriculture that it is conducting ‘confirmatory testing’ on swine for the novel H1N1 virus, the National Pork Producers Council is reiterating that pork is safe to eat and handle and that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu viruses cannot be transmitted through food, including pork.

Additionally, the US government has strict safeguards in place to protect the safety of the US food supply. All pork found in retail stores and restaurants is inspected to the rigors of USDA standards for wholesomeness, and every pig is inspected to ensure that only healthy pigs enter the food supply.

The ‘confirmatory tests’ are being conducted on swine samples collected at the 2009 Minnesota State Fair between 26 August and 1 September. According to USDA’s statement, the pigs sampled at the time showed no signs of illness and were apparently healthy.

NPPC also echoes USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack’s pronouncement that, like people, pigs routinely get sick or contract influenza viruses. Indeed, pigs in other countries previously have contracted the novel H1N1 flu.

Since the H1N1 flu was first reported in late April, NPPC and the National Pork Board have urged pork producers to tighten their existing biosecurity protocols to protect their pigs from the virus, including restricting public access to barns.

Further Reading

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