The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service collected 30 samples of ground beef from retail outlets in states with dairy cattle herds that tested positive for HPAI. These samples were sent to APHIS’ National Veterinary Services Laboratories for testing.

On May 1, the laboratory reported that all samples tested negative for HPAI. The USDA says these results reaffirm that the meat supply is safe.

The USDA is also working on two other studies to verify the safety of the meat supply due to HPAI concerns. Muscle samples of cull dairy cattle that have been condemned for systemic pathologies at FSIS-inspected facilities will be analyzed to determine the presence of viral particles. In addition, a ground beef cooking study will be conducted by ARS at different temperatures to assess log-reduction of the virus.

And FSIS spokesperson states, “USDA has a rigorous meat inspection process, where USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service veterinarians are present at all federal livestock slaughter facilities. FSIS inspects each animal before slaughter, and all cattle carcasses must pass inspection after slaughter and be determined to be fit to enter the human food supply. While we have multiple safeguards in place to protect consumers, we recommend consumers properly handle raw meats and cook to a safe internal temperature. Cooking to a safe internal temperature kills bacteria and viruses in meat.”

Read more on the USDA beef testing efforts here.