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USDA has previously reported no presence of bird flu in ground beef in states where the virus has been detected in milk, but if the virus were to show up, cooking meat properly should kill it.

On Thursday, USDA said that in an experiment it injected ground meat with high levels of a bird flu “surrogate” and then cooked hamburgers. When cooked to 145 to 160 degrees, there was no presence of bird flu found. When cooked “rare,” or to 120 degrees, there were “reduced levels” of the virus, USDA said.

This news comes as officials warn of the threat of unpasteurized milk with the virus. There is still a lot of uncertainty about how far the virus has spread: officials this week said that wastewater samples indicate high levels of the virus in Illinois and Florida — two states where bird flu has not been detected in dairy herds.


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