Bird Flu: Is it safe to eat chicken, eggs?-WHO Guidelines

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Even as we are battling the COVID-19 pandemic along with its new strain, avian influenza has made a come back in at least in seven Indian states.

The Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying in a release said that the states which have so far reported cases of avian influenza include Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.

While test reports of unusual death of birds received from Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Delhi are awaited, the ministry said on Saturday.

With the anxiety of bird flu or avian influenza spreading fast, the sale of eggs and chickens have dropped in the national capital

The sale of eggs has dropped from 200-300 trays per day to just 100-150 per day in last two days as the scare of bird flu has increased,” said Vinod, an egg dealer adding that the sale was hit by up to 50 per cent

On January 10, the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying said central teams had been formed to monitor the spread of bird flu.

WHO Guidelines on Bird Flu:

It is safe to eat poultry products as long as they are properly cooked according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

“The virus is sensitive to heat. Normal temperatures used for cooking (so that food reaches 70°C in all parts) will kill the virus,” according to the WHO.

As a standard precaution, WHO continues to recommend that poultry meat should be properly cooked, and poultry and wild game birds should be prepared following good hygienic practices.

According to the WHO, a large number of human infections have been linked to the home slaughter and subsequent handling of sick or dead birds prior to cooking. “These practices represent the highest risk of human infection and are the most important to avoid,” WHO said.

Giriraj Singh, Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, had advised people to “fully cook meat and eggs before eating”.

“There are death reports of wild and migratory birds due to bird flu at some places. There is no need to panic. It is advised to fully cook meat and eggs before eating. States have been informed and are being provided with the necessary help and support.” Singh said in a Hindi tweet.

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