Statement from the National Pork Board on Swine Influenza
April 27, 2009 at 7:00 PM EST - Updated June 18 at 10:20 AM
(The following statement is from the National Pork Board.)
Amid public concern about the reports of swine influenza in humans, the National Pork Board wishes to reassure the public that pork is safe and will continue to be safe to consume. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has posted this statement on its Web site (cdc.org/swineflu):
"Swine influenza viruses are not spread by food. You cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe."
The CDC and other health organizations continue to caution that the virus is contagious and is spreading from humans to humans. The CDC has said it has not found any evidence to indicate that any of the illnesses resulted from contact with pigs.
Nonetheless, the National Pork Board is encouraging pork producers to maintain strict biosecurity procedures on their farms.
"We share the concern of the global health community regarding the spread of this disease," said Steve Weaver, a California pork producer and president of the National Pork Board. "To ensure the good health of our animals and for all those who provide care for the animals, we are urging pork producers to be vigilant in taking measures to prevent the spread of this disease."
The National Pork Board also has offered its extensive resources about swine to assist public health officials as they address treatment and prevention strategies.
The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, technology, swine health, pork safety and environmental management. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-PORK or check the Internet at www.pork.org.