Perhaps you have heard about avian influenza, or “bird flu,” in Asia. Maybe you are wondering if there is any danger of getting “bird flu” from eating chicken or turkey.
The answer is “No.” The facts are:
- The type of avian influenza occurring in Asia is called H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1 HPAI). We have never had H5N1 HPAI in the United States and do not have it now.
- We do not import any chicken, turkey, or poultry products from Asia. The fresh poultry products you see in the store are all produced in the United States except for a very small amount produced in Canada.
- Avian influenza is caused by a virus. Like all microorganisms, it is killed by the heat of normal cooking. Washing the hands after handling raw poultry is always a good precaution, but there is no danger of getting avian influenza from normally and properly cooked poultry. The normal precautions for handling and cooking poultry are printed on the package.