Consumers Shouldn't Worry About Their Thanksgiving Bird - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

11/23/05 - East Texas

Consumers Shouldn't Worry About Their Thanksgiving Bird

by Ramonica R. Jones

Before the eggs even hatch, poultry is examined and checked for diseases. Hatcheries are carefully monitored by the processing plant for any kind of toxic materials related to food safety.

Poultry growers are in contact with their flock everyday and know almost immediately when there's an outbreak of any kind of disease.

David Alders, poultry grower for Pilgrim's Pride, said, "Tissue from every poultry house in this area is always tested before those birds go to the processing plants, so there are blood samples removed from randomly selected poultry in every house in this producing area in East Texas, and probably all over America."

Poultry production in America is much different from production overseas.

"The birds in the areas that have been affected in southeast Asia are primarily areas where birds are raised almost out in the streets and villages and backyards, so, there's a great deal of direct human-bird contact throughout the village."

H 591, or the deadly strain of Avian Flu, has never been detected in America or any bird in America. Poultry farms are well contained and protected from predators, people, and migratory birds that might have the disease.

"The industry as a whole does a great deal to limit the damage and the spread of such a disease," said Alders. "They will immediately go in and slaughter the birds from an infected farm and also the farms surrounding that infected farm."

The U.S. has banned the import of birds from southeast Asia. That includes meat and feathers from infected countries.

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