Egg Industry Center

Avian Influenza in Egg-Laying Hens

What you need to know

Avian influenza (AI)—also known as the “bird flu,”—is an infectious disease of birds caused by type A strains of the influenza virus.

Avian influenza is not a foodborne illness, which means you can't contract it from eating properly cooked poultry or eggs. All eggs should be cooked thoroughly and at recommended temperatures to reduce the risk of any foodborne illnesses. To learn more about cooking and handling eggs, visit the Egg Safety Center or the food safety page by the US Department of Health & Human Services.  Click here for USDA information on avian influenza and egg safety. The risk of humans contracting avian influenza is very low, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

There have been no new detections of Avian influenza in egg farms in the U.S. since June 17, 2015.

Latest information

On March 5, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed that High Pathogen Avian Influenza (HPAI), strain H7, was detected on a commercial broiler (meat chicken) flock in Tennessee. Beginning in November 2016, HPAI has been confirmed in several Asian and European countries; for more on global AI detections see the World Organization for Animal Health website. For information on U.S. detections and biosecurity efforts, see the USDA-APHIS website. is provided by the Egg Industry Center, American Egg Board and United Egg Producers.

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