As Minnesota farmers struggle with the effects of avian flu — millions of Minnesota turkeys lost and the Minnesota National Guard called up to help — Gov. Mark Dayton is taking steps today to show that eating turkey is safe.
He’s serving Minnesota-grown turkey to his interns at a lunch today at the Governor’s Residence in St. Paul.
The governor himself will carve a 25-pound turkey, raised in Glenwood, for the dozen or so interns at the lunch.
The governor has such lunches several times a year for the interns in the offices of the governor and lieutenant governor. But this year he’s using the occasion to make a statement of support for state turkey growers.
As turkey farmers across our state deal with the devastating effects of avian influenza, it is more important than ever for all Minnesotans to support the Minnesota turkey industry. Our turkey growers need more than our help in stopping the spread of this disease; they need our full support as consumers to buy and eat good Minnesota turkey.
His office says that the Minnesota Department of Health, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the nation’s leading health experts agree that turkey is safe to eat, despite the prevalence of the avian flu.
And the governor’s office said: “Properly handled poultry and poultry products, such as eggs, are absolutely safe to eat. There is no public health risk for any humans who have not had direct contact with infected birds.”
UPDATE: The governor’s office provided a photo of the turkey lunch: