News reports have alleged that the swine flu originated from a Smithfield pork facility in Mexico in the area where the first case was reported. Yesterday, Smithfield Foods, Inc. reiterated a prior statement that it has found no clinical signs or symptoms of the presence of North American influenza in the company's swine herd or its employees at its joint ventures in Mexico.
Those operations are fully cooperating with Mexican officials and are submitting samples from their swine herds to confirm the absence of North American influenza, according to the statement. The company also noted that its joint ventures in Mexico routinely administer influenza virus vaccination to their swine herds and conduct routine testing. Those operations have initiated the process of voluntarily submitting new samples from their swine herds for genetic sequence analysis and initial results are expected by week's end.
Smithfield said that there is no evidence of the presence of North American influenza in any of the company's swine herds or in its employees at any of its worldwide operations, including those in the United States.
As authorities in Mexico and elsewhere seek to find the cause of the North American influenza outbreak, Smithfield continues to strictly follow rigorous biosecurity practices at its operations, including limiting farm access to essential personnel, preventing farm access to personnel who have recently returned from international travel, and following personal hygiene practices and procedures, such as frequent hand washing and the use of farm-specific clothing and footwear.