**Bird Flu Outbreak Halts Production at Largest US Egg Producer in Texas**

Parmer County, Texas – Cal-Maine Foods, Inc., the largest producer of fresh eggs in the United States, has ceased production at a plant in Parmer County, Texas, due to the discovery of bird flu in their chickens. The company reported that approximately 1.6 million laying hens and 337,000 pullets, accounting for about 3.6% of their total flock, were destroyed following the avian influenza outbreak at the facility.

The affected plant is located on the Texas-New Mexico border in the Texas Panhandle, about 85 miles southwest of Amarillo. The company is collaborating with federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as industry groups, to address the situation and prevent future outbreaks.

Commissioner Sid Miller of the Texas Department of Agriculture expressed concern over the impact of the outbreak on Cal-Maine and the Panhandle region. He emphasized the importance of implementing strict biosecurity measures to prevent the rapid spread of the virus.

Despite the outbreak, Cal-Maine stated that there is no known risk of bird flu associated with eggs currently on the market, and no recall has been issued. Miller reassured the public that the risk of transmission to humans is minimal and advised industry stakeholders to remain vigilant.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, properly handled and cooked eggs are safe for consumption, alleviating concerns about the safety of eggs amidst the outbreak. The company is working to secure production from other facilities to minimize disruptions for customers.

The announcement of the production halt at Cal-Maine comes on the heels of a human case of bird flu diagnosed in a person who came into contact with infected cows. This case marked the first known instance globally of a person contracting this strain of bird flu from a mammal.

Recent reports of bird flu infections in dairy cows in Texas and Kansas have raised concerns about the spread of the virus within the agricultural sector. Federal agriculture officials confirmed infections in a Michigan dairy herd that had received cows from Texas, highlighting the interconnected nature of the livestock industry.

Cal-Maine primarily sells its eggs in the Southwestern, Southeastern, Midwestern, and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The company’s efforts to address the outbreak and maintain supply for their customers reflect the challenges faced by food producers in safeguarding public health and continuity of operations.