FDA detects bird flu viruses in pasteurised milk. Is it safe to consume?

FDA continues warnings against consuming raw eggs and milk as H5N1 spreads across US

Web Desk
FDA says pasteurization kills bird flu particles in milk. — Reuters/File
FDA says pasteurization kills bird flu particles in milk. — Reuters/File

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Tuesday that traces of bird flu viruses were detected in some samples of pasteurised milk amid an epidemic spreading through avian and cattle livestock across the United States, The Hill reported.

However, the FDA also said that the virus in that form is not a threat to humans.

Following a potential global threat from bird flu, the FDA increased testing of domestic milk supplies and found inactive remnants of the  virus in some testing samples.

The agency said that these bird flu particles were killed during the pasteurisation process.

"To date, we have seen nothing that would change our assessment that the commercial milk supply is safe," the FDA announced.

The agency is conducting extensive testing on egg and milk production to ensure their safety from the virus, with results from ongoing safety studies expected soon.

So far, the virus — known as Type A H5N1 — has been found in dairy cows in Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and South Dakota.

Only two people in the US have ever been infected with bird flu, including a Texas dairy worker earlier this month but he recovered, suffering from minor symptoms.

The FDA continues to issue warnings against consuming raw eggs and milk, citing the safety of pasteurisation and heat-treating processes in store-purchased products.