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Supply Chain

Cal-Maine Foods Halts Egg Production At Texas Facility After Detecting Bird Flu

By Reuters
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Cal-Maine Foods Halts Egg Production At Texas Facility After Detecting Bird Flu

Egg producer Cal-Maine Foods said it had temporarily halted production at its Texas facility after detecting avian influenza, which has led to the culling of about 1.6 million laying hens.

The move comes amid rising concern over the rapid spread of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in birds and mammals and just a day after Texas reported the second case of the strain in a human in the United States.

The company said it had culled about 3.6% of its total flock as of last month, including 337,000 pullets — or young hens, after its facility in Parmer Country, Texas, tested positive.

Cal-Maine said it was working with government officials and industry groups to mitigate the risk of future outbreaks.

Since 2022, 82 million US chickens, turkeys and other birds have been culled due to a deadly strain of the virus, which has spread to many corners of the world and has even been found in the frozen continent of Antarctica.

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No Eggs Recalled

Cal-Maine said that no eggs have been recalled as there is no risk related to bird flu associated with eggs. According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the influenza cannot be transmitted through properly cooked eggs.

On Monday, Texas and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a case of bird flu in a person who had contact with dairy cows presumed to be infected with the virus, as the highly pathogenic influenza spreads to new mammals, including dairy cattle.

The USDA said in February the country was about 18 months away from identifying a vaccine for the current strain of bird flu.

The deadly strain has killed wildlife, including a few dolphins, about 50,000 seals and sea lions and about half a million birds in South America since it arrived in the region in 2022.

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