Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. reports that one of the company’s facilities located in Parmer County, Texas, tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (“HPAI”), resulting in depopulation of approximately 1.6 million laying hens and 337,000 pullets, or approximately 3.6% of the company’s total flock as of March 2, 2024. Production at the facility has temporarily ceased as the company follows the protocols prescribed by the USDA. Cal-Maine Foods says it is working to secure production from other facilities to minimize disruption to its customers.

A statement from the company reports that it remains dedicated to "robust biosecurity programs across its locations; however, no farm is immune from HPAI." HPAI is still present in the wild bird population and the extent of possible future outbreaks, with heightened risk during the migration seasons, cannot be predicted. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the human health risk to the U.S. public from HPAI viruses is considered to be low. Also, according to the USDA, HPAI cannot be transmitted through safely handled and properly cooked eggs. There is no known risk related to HPAI associated with eggs that are currently in the market and no eggs have been recalled.

The company adds that it is working closely with federal, state and local government officials and focused industry groups to mitigate the risk of future outbreaks and effectively manage the response.