Avian Influenza Found on Remote California Turkey Ranch

January 24, 2015
Washington, DC

Americans can continue to enjoy turkey products with full confidence, according to the National Turkey Federation.

 “USDA’s effective response to target avian influenza at a remote central California turkey ranch underscores why consumers can be secure in the fundamental safety of the food supply and continue to enjoy turkey,” said Lisa Wallenda Picard, vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for the National Turkey Federation.

“Though this strain of avian influenza can be very harmful to poultry, it is not known to cause illness in people,” she said.

Upon detection of this AI strain on the ranch, USDA and California state officials immediately quarantined the facility to protect other flocks. The turkeys will be humanely euthanized and disposed of under federal supervision of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Foster Farms’ ongoing monitoring and early detection system led to prompt identification and action.

USDA officials have made clear that this strain of avian influenza is confined exclusively to birds.  The department also said this is part of an ongoing AI incident in the Pacific Flyway where the disease has been detected in migratory wild birds.  Further, ongoing surveillance and early detection of this and other strains ensures the protection of humans from avian influenza. All affected poultry are prohibited from entering the marketplace.

Consumers are reminded, however, that all raw meat and poultry should be properly handled and cooked in all circumstances.  For turkey, products should be cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, as measured by a meat thermometer.


Read USDA's news release from APHIS

More information from about Avian Influenza at aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/birdbiosecurity/AI/ at USDA.