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Avian influenza hits largest egg producer in the USA

18-12-2023 | Updated on 20-02 | |
Cal-Maine Foods, primarily engaged in the production, grading, packing, marketing and sale of fresh shell eggs, has reported that its facilities in Kansas have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza. Photo: Canva
Cal-Maine Foods, primarily engaged in the production, grading, packing, marketing and sale of fresh shell eggs, has reported that its facilities in Kansas have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza. Photo: Canva

Cal-Maine Foods, the largest producer and distributor of shell eggs in the United States, has reported that its facilities in Kansas tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza, affecting approximately 684,000 laying hens, or approximately 1.6% of the company’s total flock.

Production at the facility has temporarily ceased as the Cal-Maine Foods follows the protocols prescribed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Cal-Maine Foods is working to secure production from other facilities to minimise disruption to its customers. According to the USDA, these detections do not present an immediate public health concern and are not a threat to the food supply.

There have been no positive tests for highly pathogenic avian influenza at any other Cal-Maine Foods locations to date. The company says that it believes it has implemented and continues to maintain robust biosecurity programmes across all its locations, the statement says. Additional strict protocols are in place designed to prevent exposure from the Kansas facility to other locations, including the company’s nearby layer complex which houses approximately 1 million hens. The company continues to work closely with federal, state and local government officials and focused industry groups to mitigate the risk of future outbreaks and effectively manage the response.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service division of the USDA and individual states track and publicly report individual incidents of avian influenza by location. The company will provide updated information in its next quarterly report to be filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commissionhttps://www.sec.gov/
, the American stock exchange authority, in January 2024 and does not expect to provide interim updates unless material.

Cal-Maine Foods is primarily engaged in the production, grading, packing, marketing and sale of fresh shell eggs, including conventional, cage-free, organic, pasture-raised, free-range and nutritionally enhanced eggs. The company, which is headquartered in Ridgeland, Mississippi, is the largest producer and distributor of fresh shell eggs in the US and sells the majority of its shell eggs in states across the southwestern, southeastern, mid-western and mid-Atlantic regions of the US.

Peys
Ruud Peys International journalist





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