RIDGELAND, Miss. — Cal-Maine Foods Inc. on Dec. 12 reported that one of the company’s facilities in Kansas tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza, affecting approximately 684,000 laying hens, or approximately 1.6 percent of the company’s total flock.
Production at the facility has temporarily ceased as the company follows the protocols prescribed by the USDA. Cal-Maine Foods is working to secure production from other facilities to minimize disruption to its customers, the company noted.
According to the USDA, these detections do not present an immediate public health concern and are not a threat to the food supply. Also, according to the USDA, HPAI cannot be transmitted through safely handled and properly cooked eggs or poultry. There is no known risk related to HPAI associated with eggs that are currently in the market and no eggs have been recalled.
There have been no positive tests for HPAI at any other Cal-Maine Foods locations to date, the company added. Cal-Maine Foods believes it has implemented and continues to maintain robust biosecurity programs across all its locations. Additional strict protocols are in place designed to prevent exposure from the Kansas facility to other locations, including the company’s nearby layer complex which houses approximately 1 million hens. The company continues to work closely with federal, state and local government officials and focused industry groups to mitigate the risk of future outbreaks and effectively manage the response.
The APHIS division of the USDA and individual states track and publicly report individual incidents of HPAI by location. The company will provide updated information in its next quarterly report to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in January 2024 and does not expect to provide interim updates unless material.