Despite Bird Flu Turkey Is Safe to Eat

Nov 24, 2015

Bird flu wiped out nearly a quarter of Iowa's turkeys this summer. Many farmers have begun re-stocking their barns now that the crisis is over.
Credit Pat Blank/IPR

The Iowa Turkey Federation wants consumers to know that it’s safe to eat their product.

This summer’s avian influenza outbreak wiped out about 25 percent of the state’s turkey production facilities. The USDA has declared the emergency over and producers have begun re-populating their barns.

Turkey Federation Executive Director Gretta Irwin says people were never in danger because sick birds never entered the food chain.

“Consumers need to feel confident that when they go the grocery store to purchase a turkey, it’s been observed by the farmer, cared for by the farmer and tested to insure that there’s no virus, no flu, no health concerns when they arrive at the grocery store,” she said.

Irwin says both fresh and frozen turkeys should be available in most locations, although consumers may not get the exact size they want because the most popular weights sell out quickly.