Thousands of turkeys infected after bird flu detected at Jaindl Farms | Lehigh Valley Regional News
N. WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. – Bird flu hits turkey farm in Lehigh County.
The disease was discovered in a flock of turkeys in North Whitehall Township, according to the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. State officials did not name the farm, but David Jaindl says 14,000 turkeys at Jaindl Farms were affected.
Authorities are setting up a control area and a surveillance zone around the farm to prevent the spread of the flu.
Many Jaindl turkeys destined for Thanksgiving were processed before the outbreak, Jaindl said.
“We’re confident we’ll have an adequate supply of turkeys for Thanksgiving,” he said.
It also notes that this particular strain “does not pose a food safety issue.”
The CDC confirms this on its website, saying, “There have been no reports of bird flu infections in humans due to the proper handling of poultry meat or eating properly cooked poultry or poultry products.”
Jaindl says bird flu problems have affected 46 states and have affected 50 million birds across the country since February.
In Pennsylvania, there were 21 infected commercial flocks, 9 affected backyard flocks and more than 4.3 million birds affected by this outbreak, according to the state Department of Agriculture.
The last two flocks confirmed on Nov. 4 are a Lehigh County commercial turkey flock with 14,500 infected birds and a Dauphin County backyard flock with 130 birds, and there are three additional farms in Lehigh, Allegheny and Adams counties under special restrictions after confirmed infections, according to the department.
Detailed information on infected wild and domestic birds and affected farms is available from the USDA Web page. Poultry farmers in Pennsylvania can search for any nearby affected farm by address and learn the measures they need to take to protect their flocks and their neighbors’ flocks.
Poultry in Pennsylvania remains exposed to the threat of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). The disease is highly contagious to birds and almost always fatal, according to the state Department of Agriculture.
According to the USA center for disease control and prevention, these recent HPAI detections in birds do not represent an immediate public health concern. No cases of avian influenza virus have been detected in humans in the United States. Products from any flock infected with HPAI are prohibited from entering the food system.
Proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165˚F kills bacteria and viruses.