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STATEMENT BY SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE VILSACK REGARDING H1N1 FLU
"I would like to express my deepest sympathies for those who have lost loved ones to the flu as well as those who have been sickened.
I also wanted to reassure the public that there is no evidence at this time showing that swine have been infected with this virus.
According to scientists at USDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, H1N1 flu viruses are not transmitted by food so you cannot get H1N1 flu from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork or pork products is safe. Cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160°F kills all viruses and other foodborne pathogens.
USDA has in place, and did so before the last week's events, a surveillance system to monitor animal health. As an additional precautionary measure, I have asked USDA to reach out to agriculture officials in every state to affirm that they have no signs of this virus type in their state.
USDA will continue to work with other government agencies to monitor the situation and keep the public informed."