Amid bird flu scare, safe to eat poultry: DAK

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, Jan 6: As several other states are reporting an outbreak of bird flu, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) today said it is safe to eat properly cooked poultry meat.
DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement said that there is no risk to catch the disease from eating poultry or poultry products.
“Bird flu is not transmitted through cooked food and to date; there is no evidence that people have become infected after eating contaminated poultry meat that has been properly cooked.”
He said that in areas free from the disease, poultry can be prepared and consumed as usual and in areas experiencing outbreaks, poultry and poultry products can also be safely consumed provided these items are properly cooked and properly handled.
“Consumers need to be sure that all parts of the poultry are fully cooked (no “pink” parts) and that eggs, too are properly cooked (no “runny” yolks),” Dr Nisar said adding that “normal temperature used for cooking (70 degree Celsius in all parts of the food) kills the virus,” he said.
However, he said, slaughtering, defeathering and eviscerating of diseased birds pose a risk to humans.
Dr Nisar said the viruses usually do not infect humans, but there are chances. He said that the migratory birds are natural reservoirs of the virus and Kashmir being the favourite destination of migratory birds during winter, the virus can be introduced in the valley through them.
He impressed that the veterinarians must get activated for active surveillance, stockpile logistics like PPE and Tamiflu and prepare for worst, just in case.