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Smithfield tests: pig farms free from Mexican flu

Smithfield Foods reaffirmed on Sunday that there is no evidence of the presence of Mexican influenza in any of the company's swine herds or in its employees at any of its worldwide operations, including those in the United States.

The company issued this statement following the announcement by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) that officials have tentatively confirmed that swine from a herd in Alberta, Canada, have tested positive for H1N1.


Further tests are underway to determine whether the virus in these animals is the A (H1N1) virus which is currently causing illness in humans. The company further noted that the Canadian report stated that Canadian health authorities believe that the swine herd may have contracted the H1N1 virus from contact with a worker at that farm.


Safety
Smithfield, not owning or operate operations in Canada, stressed that this is not a foodborne illness and the American food supply is safe and pork and pork products are safe.


"If it is true that the hogs were infected by human contact, it only underscores the need for proper biosecurity measures - as in any influenza situation - to protect against the spread of virus," the company stated.


"We will continue to strictly follow rigorous biosecurity practices at all of our operations, including limiting farm access to essential personnel, preventing farm access to personnel who have recently returned from international travel, and following personal hygiene practices and procedures, such as frequent hand washing and the use of farm-specific clothing and footwear."


Related news items:
Canada: pigs test positive for Mexican flu (May 4, 2009)


Related websites:
Smithfield Foods
Canadian Food Inspection Agency

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