FDA provides update on testing dairy products for avian influenza Sarah Gonzalez May 23, 2024

FDA provides update on testing dairy products for avian influenza

By David Fairfield, Senior Vice President, Feed

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on May 20 provided additional information on the agency’s sampling and testing of retail dairy products for viable Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Avian Influenza (H5N1 HPAI) virus. 

In a previous update on May 10, FDA had announced that all 297 samples from the agency’s survey of retail dairy products were negative for the virus. The additional information made available provides details on testing protocols, where the milk product was processed, and the number and types of products tested. Both FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) continue to indicate that the commercial milk supply is safe based on the current available information.

In response to the detections of H5N1 HPAI in dairy cattle and an associated human H5N1 HPAI infection,  USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also recently announced new actions to reduce the impact and spread of H5N1 HPAI. These actions include: 1) making available financial tools for lost milk production in herds; 2) supporting enhanced biosecurity practices; 3) coordinating with States with affected herds on movement of animals; 4) additional funding to bolster testing and laboratory capacity and surveillance; and 5) additional activities related to ensuring the safety of the commercial milk supply.

Detections of H5N1 HPAI virus in dairy cattle have occurred in nine states: Colorado, Idaho, South Dakota, Kansas, New Mexico, Texas, Michigan, Ohio, and North Carolina. The latest confirmed detections occurred on May 16 in Michigan and Idaho.