Home Health What you can and CAN’T eat amid America’s bird flu outbreak, according to ex-FDA food chief: Avoid steak houses, salad dressing and even some favorite desserts!

What you can and CAN’T eat amid America’s bird flu outbreak, according to ex-FDA food chief: Avoid steak houses, salad dressing and even some favorite desserts!

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Dr. Darin Detwiler, a food safety expert at Northeastern University in Boston and former food safety advisor to the FDA and USDA, shared foods to avoid amid bird flu fears.

Dr. Darin Detwiler, a food safety expert at Northeastern University in Boston and former food safety advisor to the FDA and USDA, shared foods to avoid amid bird flu fears.

Dr. Darin Detwiler, a food safety expert at Northeastern University in Boston and former food safety advisor to the FDA and USDA, shared foods to avoid amid bird flu fears.

Sorry, food lovers, experts recommend that Americans eat their steak well-done to reduce the risk of contracting the flu at birth.

And eggs should be cooked thoroughly, meaning they shouldn’t be cooked sunny side up, over-easy, or poached.

Even salad dressings like Caesar can be a risk because they are made with raw eggs.

These are the recommendations of former FDA advisor Dr. Darin Detwiler, who said that while the risk of contracting bird flu, or H5N1, through food is low, eating animal products that are not properly cooked could increase the probability.

The virus has caused outbreaks at more than a dozen farms across the United States, infecting cattle and chickens and raising fears about the safety of that country’s food supply.

Last week, health officials in Texas confirmed that a dairy farmer contracted the virus, making him the second American to contract the disease.

Dr Detwiler told DailyMail.com: ‘Transmission of bird flu to humans through consumption of properly cooked poultry products, including eggs, is very low.

“The risk arises with undercooked eggs or poultry.”

But here he noted that eggs, poultry and beef should be cooked to a safe internal temperature “because cooking is the killing step.”

Bird flu is often spread from waterfowl such as ducks and geese to livestock such as chickens, cows, and pigs. This can cause animal meat and products such as eggs and milk to become infected.

Dr. Detwiler said viruses like bird flu can travel to the internal parts of meat, such as steak, so it's crucial to cook it thoroughly rather than eating it raw.

Dr. Detwiler said viruses like bird flu can travel to the internal parts of meat, such as steak, so it's crucial to cook it thoroughly rather than eating it raw.

Dr. Detwiler said viruses like bird flu can travel to the internal parts of meat, such as steak, so it’s crucial to cook it thoroughly rather than eating it raw.

Some Caesar salad dressings are made with raw eggs, which could increase the risk of bird flu.

Some Caesar salad dressings are made with raw eggs, which could increase the risk of bird flu.

Some Caesar salad dressings are made with raw eggs, which could increase the risk of bird flu.

If you are cooking a steak or ordering it at a restaurant, don’t order it rare or medium rare.

Dr. Detwiler said that while searing a steak on the outside “should be good enough to kill a pathogen, even if the inside is undercooked,” bird flu could travel to the inside of the meat. “I’m still not convinced that simply searing the exterior is enough to kill H5N1 in beef,” he said.

“I would 100 percent recommend cooking it all the way through to a minimum safe cooking temperature for a solid piece of meat.”

According to the USDA, the safe internal temperature for steak is at least 145 F, while rare steak is 120 F to 125 F. Medium rare is approximately 130 F to 135 F.

Additionally, infected cows could transmit bird flu through milk if it is not pasteurized. This is when milk is heated to a specific temperature of at least 145 F for a minimum of 30 minutes to kill bacteria.

Despite the FDA long listing unpasteurized dairy as “unsafe,” drinking “raw milk” has become increasingly popular on TikTok and in fitness circles due to unfounded claims that it has more vitamins and minerals. .

“Raw milk definitely carries a higher risk of exposure to not only bird flu but also pathogens like salmonella, E coli and listeria,” Dr. Detwiler said.

“Pasteurization is the only effective way to eliminate these pathogens and to inactivate any type of flu virus if they are present in milk.”

“But honestly, pasteurized milk is always the safest option.”

The CDC states that “scientists do not have any evidence showing a nutritional benefit from raw milk.”

And even a certain type of Caesar dressing, which is made primarily with anchovy paste, may contain egg yolks that might not be clearly labeled on a dressing bottle or a restaurant menu.

Additionally, no-bake desserts, such as edible cookie dough, are also risky sources of raw eggs. “You’re not going to kill that virus with that,” Dr. Detwiler said.

Dr. Detwiler also recommends clients be careful with eggs that have runny yolks, such as fried, poached, hard-boiled, and over-easy eggs.

“In the case of bird flu, eggs must be cooked until both the white and yolk are firm, ensuring that the egg reaches a temperature that can kill any virus present,” he said.

According to the USDA, eggs should be cooked to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius).

This might mean eliminating eggs Benedict from your Sunday brunch menu, but not just for the eggs themselves. Dr. Detwiler also suggested ruling out Hollandaise sauce, which is made with raw egg yolks, melted butter and lemon juice.

Dr. Detwiler also advises against using dirty or cracked eggs, as bacteria remain in them.

Food safety experts warn against eating eggs with runny yolks, as they are undercooked and could increase the risk of contracting bird flu.

Food safety experts warn against eating eggs with runny yolks, as they are undercooked and could increase the risk of contracting bird flu.

Food safety experts warn against eating eggs with runny yolks, as they are undercooked and could increase the risk of contracting bird flu.

Dr. Detwiler recommended purchasing eggs, chicken and beef from a major retailer rather than a farmers market to ensure proper safeguards are in place.

Dr. Detwiler recommended purchasing eggs, chicken and beef from a major retailer rather than a farmers market to ensure proper safeguards are in place.

Dr. Detwiler recommended purchasing eggs, chicken and beef from a major retailer rather than a farmers market to ensure proper safeguards are in place.

Additionally, Dr. Detwiler advises being mindful of where you get your food from.

“If there is H5N1 in birds, and that bird gets to the point where it’s still alive, and there are eggs that come with this, you need to treat those birds properly,” he said.

This involved the intentional depopulation, culling, or killing of infected chickens to prevent the virus from spreading.

Earlier this month, the largest U.S. egg producer, Cal-Maine Foods in Texas, revealed it had to cull 2 ​​million birds after detecting the virus in its flock.

“We want to ensure that we purchase eggs from reputable sources that follow strict biosafety measures to avoid this,” Dr. Detwiler said.

Therefore, he recommended purchasing eggs, poultry, and beef at major retailers instead of your local farmers market. “I’m not going to a farmers market or a farm,” he said.

“I really enjoy those options, but right now I would go to a large, reputable retailer that has been vetted and audited and has measures in place to ensure that the companies putting products on their shelves are reputable and have biosafety measures in place.” “. .

So far, 17 farms in six states have reported H5N1 infections in their cows, including five in Texas, as well as farms in New Mexico, Michigan, Ohio, Idaho and Kansas. Cow testing is also being done in Iowa.

The above shows how bird flu is approaching human contagion in the US.

The above shows how bird flu is approaching human contagion in the US.

The above shows how bird flu is approaching human contagion in the US.

1712672931 64 What you can and CANT eat amid Americas bird flu

1712672931 64 What you can and CANT eat amid Americas bird flu

The graph above shows human cases of avian influenza reported globally by year. The colors represent different countries, with light blue being Egypt and orange being Cambodia.

The graph above shows human cases of avian influenza reported globally by year. The colors represent different countries, with light blue being Egypt and orange being Cambodia.

The graph above shows human cases of avian influenza reported globally by year. The colors represent different countries, with light blue being Egypt and orange being Cambodia.

Infected cattle are described as “lethargic”, eating less feed and producing less milk. But they are not dying from their infections.

But it’s unclear how the cows became infected, whether through exposure to infected droppings, bird carcasses or another route. However, some researchers suggest that livestock are becoming ill after drinking contaminated water from birds migrating through the area.

Dr. Detwiler noted that while the chance of getting bird flu from properly cooked food is low, “the severity is high” once someone gets sick.

“The risk increases with undercooked eggs or meat, just as the risks increase in a car accident if you don’t wear a seat belt.”

“However, when we look at the severity, the H5N1 strain has caused severe illness and death in infected humans.”

He noted that serious complications include respiratory failure, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS, which causes fluid to build up in the lung alveoli), and multiple organ failure.

The World Health Organization estimates the mortality rate from H5N1 at 52 percent, based on the 462 deaths recorded since 2003 among the 887 people diagnosed with the virus.

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