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USDA Releases Poultry from Quarantine

USDA releases about 80,000 birds that were being held after possibly eating feed containing melamine.

Testing confirms that meat from poultry fed rations supplemented with pet food scraps containing melamine and related compounds is safe for human consumption. Based on the validated test results, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will allow approximately 80,000 birds held on farms in Indiana to be released and approved for processing.

Testing of meat from poultry exposed to the feed in question confirms that melamine does not accumulate in birds and is eliminated by the body quickly. The testing also reinforces the conclusions of a human health risk assessment that there is a very low risk of illness from the consumption of meat from animals exposed to the feed in question.

The risk assessment concludes that when all the solid food a person consumes in an entire day contains melamine and the melamine compound cyanuric acid at levels potentially present in the poultry meat, the potential exposure is about 250 times lower than the dose considered safe. This means that a person weighing 132 pounds would have to eat more than 800 pounds per day of chicken or other food containing melamine and its compounds to approach a level of consumption that would cause a health concern.

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