National Pork Board President Steve Weaver has sent an “open letter” over the Internet to fellow pork producers on the H1N1 influenza A virus outbreak.

The letter states that the Pork Checkoff has been working around the clock to remind consumers that in spite of the flu outbreak – pork remains safe to eat.

Weaver also explains how the H1N1 outbreak relates to pork producers’ operations:

“At first, the virus was spreading only from person to person, but we now know that it can infect pigs. In Alberta, Canada, pigs in a single herd reportedly became sick with the H1N1 virus after being in contact with a worker who had flu-like symptoms after returning from Mexico. The virus caused mild illness in the herd, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has reported that the pigs and the worker are recovering.”

The letter went on to say:

“At this time, the H1N1 virus has not been found in any U.S. pigs. However, the Canadian incident shows that we all need to take extra precautions to help ensure that the virus does not enter our herds. I have stepped up the biosecurity measures at my Elk Grove, CA, farm, and I urge you to do the same at your operation.”

Weaver suggested fellow producers read through the biosecurity practices recommended by the National Pork Board and join him in helping protect the U.S. herd.