“Given the current and potential future risks that HPAI H5N1 virus poses to our nation’s public health, as well as the health of our nation’s food-producing animals and wildlife, it is important to work together to minimize the additional exposure of humans and other animal species,” wrote Dr. Don Prater, acting director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, who is leading the agency’s H5N1 response.

Beyond bird flu, the FDA says health risks of raw milk include illness, miscarriages, stillbirths, kidney failure and death.

In addition to stronger warnings about the dangers of consuming raw milk, the FDA is asking states to monitor dairy cattle herds for signs of illness that would indicate infection with H5N1 bird flu virus and tell farms to safely discard milk from sick cows.

Any raw milk or raw milk products from exposed cattle that are fed to calves or any other animals should be heat-treated or pasteurized, the FDA said.

The FDA is also calling on states to implement surveillance testing for the presence of H5N1 virus in dairy herds that might be engaged in producing raw milk and to report their results to state and federal regulatory agencies.

The agency said it would soon share new research and data on both bird flu virus in raw milk and raw milk products.

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