Turkeys infected with HP H5N1 have made it to the markets in the Pomorze area of Poland.
In the Pomorze region 480 kg of turkey meat has been found to contain the bird flu virus.
Also it has been announced due to the outbreak in Płock, central Poland, that information bulletins will be passed out in schools tomorrow, Monday December 3rd. Local priests have also stepped in to supply information to local residents.
Ongoing research is being carried out it infected areas in farms around the town of Płock. Vehicles passing through the area are also being disinfected.
Anna Obuchowska, spokeswoman for the Sanitary Inspectorate in the Pomorze region, has stated that the meat came from two warehouses, in Żukow and Sierakowice.
The Żukow plant supplied meat to shops in Gdańsk and Gdynia, with the Sierakowice source providing shops in Człuchów, Chojnice, Kościerzyna and Kartuzy.
Obuchowska has said that there is a search for remaining meat in the shops, but it is unlikely that any remains, as the turkey meat was delivered to the shops at the beginning of the previous week.
Shop employees are under surveillance by the Saniitory Inspectorate for their own safety.
Avian flu has the same effects as 'normal' flu, and can be treated with the same anti-viral treatment, including Tamiflu.
Specialists have stated that meat preparation at temperatures above 70 degrees Celsius should kill any viruses that were present in the meat before its preparation are safe to eat. (jb)
We are consistently told that eating infected poultry is not dangerous to our health if it is cooked properly. Yes, this is true; viruses are killed by cooking food to at least an overall (internal) temperature of > 70o C (158o F): heat kills all viruses.
Handling poultry recommendations from WHO:
Highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks in poultry and in humans: Food safety implications
• Conventional cooking (temperatures at or above 70°C in all parts of a food item) will inactivate the H5N1 virus. Properly cooked poultry meat is therefore safe to consume.
• The H5N1 virus, if present in poultry meat, is not killed by refrigeration or freezing.
• Home slaughtering and preparation of sick or dead poultry for food is hazardous: this practice must be stopped.
• Eggs can contain H5N1 virus both on the outside (shell) and the inside (whites and yolk). Eggs from areas with H5N1 outbreaks in poultry should not be consumed raw or partially cooked (runny yolk); uncooked eggs should not be used in foods that will not be cooked, baked or heat-treated in other ways.
• There is no epidemiological evidence to indicate that people have been infected with the H5N1 virus following consumption of properly cooked poultry or eggs.
• The greatest risk of exposure to the virus is through the handling and slaughter of live infected poultry. Good hygiene practices are essential during slaughter and post- slaughter handling to prevent exposure via raw poultry meat or cross contamination from poultry to other foods, food preparation surfaces or equipment
Roughly 90% of the meat consumed in my home is boneless-skinless chicken breasts, it's versatile and convenient, to say nothing of the simple fact that as a meat, it is one of our favorites. Because of my awareness of avian influenza, and H5N1 specifically, I have learned to treat my raw chicken breasts as a genuine biohazard.
And, just to keep the poultry eaters on our toes (from the same WHO recommendations):
Most strains of avian influenza virus are found only in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts of infected birds, and not in meat. However, available studies indicate that highly pathogenic viruses, such as the H5N1 strain, spread to virtually all parts of an infected bird, including meat. Avian influenza viruses survive in contaminated raw poultry meat and therefore can be spread through the marketing and distribution of contaminated food products, such as fresh or frozen meat. In general, low temperatures maintain the viability of the avian influenza virus.
The virus can survive in faeces for at least 35 days at low temperature (4°C); while at 37°C, viruses could survive for 6 days in stability tests on faecal samples in studies using H5N1 viruses circulating during 2004. Avian influenza viruses can also survive on surfaces, such as those within the poultry house environment, for several weeks.
Due to these survival properties, common food preservation processes such as freezing and refrigeration do not substantially reduce the concentration or viability of these viruses in contaminated meat.
Biohazard poultry is just something we are going to have to deal with until we find the solution to remove, once and for all, the route of infection that finds its way to our domestic poultry.
SZ (Who is not yet ready to become a vegetarian, but getting closer to that culinary adjustment)