Press Release BubblePress Release

Avian Influenza Preparedness


Oct 21, 2015

Butterball, LLC is committed to providing customers with safe, high-quality products. Naturally, we take the health of our birds very seriously, and we always follow a strict protocol to protect our animals from diseases. The recent High Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreak in the Midwest has prompted us to reassess our current biosecurity programs to ensure that the utmost care is being taken to mitigate the risk of introducing HPAI to Butterball birds.

To date, Butterball has proactively invested more than $3 million to implement enhanced biosecurity tactics. These enhancements—based on numerous evaluations, surveys and educational roundtables—include:

  • Food safety measures: All Butterball flocks are tested and cleared for HPAI before being transported to processing facilities. No birds are ever moved or processed without the documentation of a negative test result.
  • Extra environmental precautions: These include cement pads at the entrances of each barn; a highly regimented disinfection protocol for trucks and equipment; a special booting process used upon entering and exiting each house; and filtered air intake fans and disinfectant areas to reduce the influence of wild birds in the area.
  • Ongoing training sessions: Specific trainings are held to guarantee that every one of our 630+ farmers and live operations employees are up to date on the latest procedural adjustments.
  • Audits and third-party validation: New audits specific to biosecurity reinforce our continued participation in the USDA National Poultry Improvement Plan’s Avian Influenza Surveillance Program. These new audits join our standard weekly reviews already in place and the third-party audits required by the American Humane Association’s certification program.
  • Continued review and evaluation: We will continue to review and evaluate new information and areas of opportunity within our program. We are working closely with the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, state and local governments, and the poultry industry to learn from the HPAI situation in the Midwest.

Be assured that Butterball, LLC is taking all possible steps to uphold our commitment to providing safe, high-quality products. If you need additional information on HPAI, please visit the National Turkey Federation’s website, www.eatturkey.com. If you have specific Butterball questions, contact foodservice@butterball.com.