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Bird Flu Shuts Down One Cal-Maine Facility

Dec. 15, 2023
The country’s largest egg producer this week shut down production at a Kansas facility after highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was detected in the flock. No other facilities affected.

Cal-Maine Foods, the country’s largest egg producer, this week shut down production at a Kansas facility after highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was detected in the flock.

The company did not say what will become of the approximately 684,000 laying hens at the facility; typically they are euthanized to prevent spreading the disease. That represents approximately 1.6% of the company’s total flock.

In addition to temporarily ceasing production there, the company said it’s following protocols prescribed by USDA and is securing production from other facilities to minimize disruption to its customers. Cal-Maine noted it has a layer complex nearby that houses approximately one million hens. There have been no positive tests for HPAI at any other Cal-Maine Foods locations to date.

According to the USDA, these detections do not present an immediate public health concern and are not a threat to the food supply. And this is just one of several reports of avian influenza reported across the country this fall.

About the Author

Dave Fusaro | Editor in Chief

Dave Fusaro has served as editor in chief of Food Processing magazine since 2003. Dave has 30 years experience in food & beverage industry journalism and has won several national ASBPE writing awards for his Food Processing stories. Dave has been interviewed on CNN, quoted in national newspapers and he authored a 200-page market research report on the milk industry. Formerly an award-winning newspaper reporter who specialized in business writing, he holds a BA in journalism from Marquette University. Prior to joining Food Processing, Dave was Editor-In-Chief of Dairy Foods and was Managing Editor of Prepared Foods.