H5N1 News: What They Are Not Telling You! Study Found H5N1 Virus In Chicken Meat Sold In Supermarket For Human Consumption In Poland!
: With H5N1 rampant globally and not only infecting wild birds and mammals but also poultry farms, it is little wonder that the H5N1 virus has already crept into the human food chain. However, the poultry industry in various markets have embarked on various strategies and political lobbying to keep that fact away from the consumers!
The recent H5N1 News
about cats getting infected with H5N1 in Poland and South Korea however opened the pandora box as a result of studies to try to find out the source of the infection.
A study conducted by Polish and German researchers to try the find the source of the H5N1 virus that infected the cats also came across an interesting discovery that was not highlighted in both Polish and also international media.
During the research, the study team also received five frozen meat samples and detected high levels of viral RNA in one of them, which was chicken meat that had been purchased fresh for human consumption on 9 June 2023.
(download the full study)
The quantification cycle (Cq) values were as low as 20 for the matrix (M) gene and 25 for the HA gene.
Whole genome sequencing of this sample (A/environment/Poland/Kra1/2023) confirmed its high identity with maximum two di
fferences at nucleotide level per segment to the viruses isolated from the cats (GISAID: EPI_ISL_17959737.
The viral sequence obtained from the chicken samples from the supermarket had the PB2- E627K and PB2-K526R mutations! This is the new strain of the H5N1 that is enhanced for mammalian infection!
This finding confirmed that chicken and other poultry meat being sold in the supermarkets in Poland were carrying the new H5N1 viral strains!
It is believed that this occurrence is not just unique to Poland but also in the rest of Europe and even globally!
However, it has come to light that certain big conglomerates involved in the poultry industry have been aware of this issue for a while now but have been concealing this fact and also been lobbying various regulatory government agencies around the world to keep this concealed even after the publication of this study. This was so apparent as no other mainstream media or even international wire agencies bothered to highlight this issue of H5N1 contaminated chicken meat being sold for human consumption in supermarkets.
Now while some are claiming that it is up to the consumers to ensure that the chicken meat should be cooked properly to free themselves from any possible pathogens, at least warnings should be issued to consumers as some cuisines and dishes even require simply half or quickly cooked chicken meat!
Also, to date there are no updated studies to show what temperatures and for how long should chicken meat be cooked for to totally inhibit these new H5N1 strains.
Past studies as far back as 2009 only focused on the strains then and those studies showed that that H5N1 virus lost infectivity after 30 min at 56°C.
Interestingly, UV light was proved ineffectual in inactivating virus completely even after 60 min.
A study in 2016 found that Avian flu viruses could be rendered harmless if poultry products are cooked at core temperatures ≥70°C, ≥10 s).
Now chicken dishes cooked vide sous vide methods only use temperatures staring at 60 degrees Celsius!
It is not known if these methods will inhibit the virus even for a long time.
Furthermore, as stated earlier, we do not have updated data about the temperatures that can inhibit the current new H5N1 strains.
Already in the case of the SARS CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, studies have found that the newer variants and sub-lineages had evolved to withstand higher temperatures compared to the earlier Wuhan wildtype strain!
It will not be impossible then that the newer H5N1 strains could have also evolved to withstand higher temperatures!
We have not even touched about H5N1 virus being found in eggs and the issue about dangers associated with eating poached eggs or eggs benedict dishes or sunny side eggs etc! (We will cover that in another article!)
For the time being, urgent studies are needed about the cooking temperatures required to inhibit the new H5N1 strains and the need for supermarkets and also health authorities to issue warnings to consumers to be on their guard when purchasing, cooking and consuming poultry products including eggs etc.
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