USDA begins testing beef samples for bird flu

By Marcia Brown | 05/01/2024 12:39 PM EDT

Officials say the beef supply remains safe.

Ground beef is on display in a market in Pittsburgh.

Ground beef is on display in a market in Pittsburgh on July 12, 2022. Gene J. Puskar/AP

The Agriculture Department will begin sampling a small amount of ground beef sold at retail stores in the nine states where officials have detected bird flu in dairy herds.

The move, announced Tuesday, comes a day after USDA started requiring testing for dairy cattle moving across state lines.

Officials at USDA say the meat supply is safe but that consumers should take care to cook beef to the recommended internal temperature.


“USDA has a rigorous meat inspection process, where USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) veterinarians are present at all federal livestock slaughter facilities,” USDA spokesperson Allan Rodriguez said in a statement. He added that USDA will share the data from those tests “as it becomes available.”