Bird Flu Alarm

Is poultry meat from affected countries safe?

Measures to prevent and control avian influenza are coordinated at EU level. EU import bans have been placed on potentially risky poultry products and susceptible imports from third countries with HPAI outbreaks.

Poultry imported into Ireland is therefore free of the avian influenza virus and may be used and consumed as normal ensuring that it is handled hygienically while raw, and cooked thoroughly prior to consumption. The virus is sensitive to heat. Normal temperatures used for cooking (so that food reaches 70째C in all parts) will kill the virus.

To date, there is no epidemiological evidence that avian influenza can be transmitted to humans through the consumption of cooked food, notably poultry meat and eggs. Whilst it is unlikely that the avian influenza virus could be passed on to humans by raw meat or eggs, cooking food properly (so that food reaches 70째C in all parts) would inactivate the virus and eliminate potential risk.