Deadly Asian Bird Flu
Smuggled Into Ohio?

From Patricia Doyle, PhD
Hello Jeff -
It is possible to contract avian influenza by eating infected meat that is not properly cooked. Authorities theorize that the two brothers in Viet Nam might have become infected by eating uncooked chicken organs.
I am also worried about illegal imporation of "smuggled" birds from Asia. IF bird flu arises in bird populations via smuggled birds then we have a major problem.
I hope that the USDA and customs is vigilant. ...then again, we have open borders and it would be easy for both food from Asia and smuggled birds to enter the US on trucks from Mexico. Bird Flu might simply roll right in instead of flying in with migratory birds.
Where the HELL is the US Customs Dept?
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
Health Officials Pull Chicken Feet Off Ohio Market
Colorado Among States Affected
CLEVELAND (AP) Health officials have seized boneless chicken feet at several Ohio stores, part of an expanding effort to prevent an outbreak of the bird flu.
Officials planned to visit about 200 Asian restaurants and markets around Cuyahoga County on Friday, explaining the health risks involved with a product that the U.S. Department of Agriculture says was illegally smuggled into the country.
The U.S. government banned imports of birds and poultry products from Asia last year.
Some chicken feet, an Asian delicacy, were seized at a Cleveland grocery store on Wednesday. Authorities also found them at three stores in Columbus and one in Whitehall, said Paul Panico, head of food safety for the agriculture department.
"We anticipate finding some more of the product," said Peter Schade of the Cuyahoga County health board.
The avian flu has caused deaths in Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia over the past year. Vietnamese health officials and the World Health Organization have tried to warn people about the danger. Well-cooked poultry is not considered a risk.
The agriculture department determined that an importer, Food King Inc., in West Haven., Conn., distributed chicken feet to 68 stores in 11 states, said Claude Knighten, a spokesman for the department's inspection service in Riverdale, Md.
Besides Ohio, the affected states are Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
Knighten said on Thursday that Food King had cooperated with a voluntary recall. An agency alert said the company imported the suspected chicken feet in a container labeled as jellyfish.
Calls to Food King on Thursday were referred to a person who was not available.
Five packages of frozen chicken feet were seized Wednesday at a small Asian foods store in Cleveland, said Srey Trinh, the store's owner. She said customers already had bought some packages.
She said an Ohio Department of Agriculture agent told her that the product is not allowed to be sold.
LeeAnne Mizer, an Ohio agriculture spokeswoman, said she did not know how much of the food may have been sold in Ohio or elsewhere.
"It sounds like some birds came in for specialty shops and USDA has restrictions on that kind of thing," said Richard Lobb, spokesman for the Washington-based National Chicken Council, a trade association representing the U.S. chicken industry. The precautions are designed to prevent the avian flu.
"We don't want to bring in any product unless we can be sure it's free of all diseases," said David Swayne, a USDA poultry researcher.
Patricia A. Doyle, PhD
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Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
Go with God and in Good Health



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