The US FDA has tested retail milk samples in 17 states for bird flu | The mighty 790 KFGO

(Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Monday it has tested samples of milk and other dairy products in 17 states for viable bird flu virus, and provided further details on the locations of the previously announced tests.

The regulator said it collected 297 samples from retail locations in 17 states between April 18 and 22, but the retail samples represented products made at 132 processing locations in 38 states.

“Even if a sample were collected in one state, the milk in a consumer package could have come from cows on different farms in different states, pasteurized in a state other than where the milk was produced, and available for purchase in yet another other state. state,” the agency said in its statement.

The US has confirmed bird flu in dairy cattle in nine states since late March.

The FDA had said on May 10 that no live virus was found in retail milk samples. It has also said pasteurized milk is safe to drink but has warned against consuming raw milk.

However, scientists have said they believe the outbreak is more widespread, based on the FDA’s findings that showed about 20% of retail milk samples contained remnants of the H5N1 virus.

The samples include cottage cheese, cream and half-and-half, which are equal parts milk and cream, sour cream and yogurt, in addition to milk.

(Reporting by Puyaan Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Tasim Zahid)