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Possible Novel H1N1 Cases in Pigs Not Unexpected; Experts Say U.S. Pork Is Safe to Eat

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is attributed to J. Patrick Boyle, President and CEO, American Meat Institute:

"USDA has confirmed that hogs at the Minnesota State Fair may have screened positive for the novel H1N1 virus. USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratories expects to have confirmatory results within the next few days. This event is not unexpected given that much like humans, hogs can contract influenza viruses.

Experts have said unequivocally that U.S. pork is safe to eat and that people can not contract the flu from eating pork or pork products. USDA scientists have underscored that novel H1N1 flu is not a foodborne disease; it is a respiratory infection that does not impact pork safety.

The U.S. government has in place strict safeguards to protect the safety of our food supply. All pork sold in the U.S. is inspected by USDA and must meet strict safety standards. Every hog that is processed is inspected by a federal veterinarian to ensure only healthy hogs enter our food supply. The "Passed and Inspected by USDA" seal ensures that pork is wholesome and free from disease.

Consumers can continue to enjoy pork as part of a healthy, balanced diet. It is important that consumers take care of their health. An essential part of staying healthy is eating a balanced diet that includes vitamin and mineral-rich foods like pork."

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SOURCE American Meat Institute

SOURCE American Meat Institute
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