SPRINGDALE, ARK. — Tyson Foods announced its pork products are safe in the wake of a swine influenza outbreak that is thought to have originated in Mexico.
"As reported by the National Pork Producers Council, U.S. pigs have not been infected with this hybrid influenza and preliminary investigations have determined that none of the people infected with the hybrid flu had contact with hogs," a company statement said. "It is reportedly spreading by human-to-human transmission. In fact, according to the World Organization for Animal Health in Paris, ‘The virus has not been isolated in animals to date. Therefore, it is not justified to name this disease swine influenza.’"
Tyson Foods pork processing operations or hog farms do not operate in Mexico; Tyson only has poultry operations there.
The company does operate four pork-processing plants in Iowa, one in Nebraska and one in Indiana. It also owns a subsidiary involved in live-hog production in eastern Oklahoma, northwest Arkansas and parts of Missouri. Tyson’s statement added it is taking measures to tighten its existing biosecurity protocols to protect hogs from this virus, according to National Pork Board recommendations.