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University of Minnesota Extension, Published May 05 2009

University of Minnesota Extension provides H1N1 information for pork producers

ST. PAUL – The swine flu epidemic raises questions for pork producers, even though the term “swine flu” is misleading and no swine are currently infected.

University of Minnesota Extension has created a Web page to provide information and resources on this new H1N1 influenza virus outbreak and links to further information. This webpage can be found at http://www.extension.umn.edu/swine/H1N1/

“It is important for the general public to know that pork is safe to eat and pork consumption does not impose a risk for contracting the H1N1 flu,” states Dr. Mark Whitney, swine program leader with University of Minnesota Extension. “Although this new hybrid virus has not been demonstrated to be spread to pigs, we are suggesting pork producers increase biosecurity measures to reduce the risk of any influenza viruses from entering their herds,” says Whitney.

The webpage includes:

– A PorkCast webinar, “Pork Producer Update: H1N1 Influenza.”

– Facts and clarifications about the flu and its overstated relationship to swine

– Biosecurity recommendations for preventing disease transmission to hog facilities

– News and updates on 2009 H1N1 flu, for producers and veterinarians

– Spanish-language resources

– Speaking points about the safety of eating pork. For example, the USDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Homeland Security all state that swine influenza viruses are not transmitted by food so you cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products.