Update on Avian Influenza

On March 4, 2017, the National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) confirmed low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) in a commercial turkey flock owned by Jennie-O Turkey Store in Wisconsin. This situation in Wisconsin only involves one farm site where experienced flock management personnel identified health issues in the flock and promptly pursued testing.

The strain is an H5N2 influenza of North American wild bird lineage. It’s important to understand that low path avian influenza is common in North America.

There has also been a confirmed report of a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) of an “H7” origin in a chicken breeder flock in Tennessee. This HPAI situation does not involve Jennie-O Turkey Store and we have no turkey flocks in that area of the country.

Poultry is safe to eat and products produced in the U.S. are safe for consumption. Avian influenza is an animal health issue, not a food safety issue. As a reminder, poultry and eggs should always be handled properly and cooked to an internal temperature of 165 ˚F. See the Food Safety section on this web site for more information.

More information can be found at:

From Dr. Michelle M. Kromm

Chief Veterinarian
Director, Technical Services

The team at Jennie-O has worked diligently to identify risks leading to Avian Influenza exposure and has subsequently updated protocols as well as implemented new programs to mitigate these risks. Although the type of influenza may vary, biosecurity interventions are not strain specific and will reduce risk regardless of the influenza type.

Our team members working with turkey flocks follow strict biosecurity protocols, and our experienced production and veterinary staff closely monitor and manage the health and welfare of our flocks. We continue to partner with regulatory, university, and industry colleagues to identify opportunities for improvement.

HPAI is an animal health issue, not a food safety issue. Please rest assured that your Jennie-O products are safe to eat and remember to follow proper handling and cooking instructions. As always, turkey should be cooked to 165° F, as measured by meat thermometer.






DVM, MPH, MAM, Diplomat ACPV
For any questions or concerns, please contact our Consumer Response team at 1-800-523-4635