Avian influenza H5N2 has been found at a Hormel Foods-owned turkey farm in Minnesota.

The facility in Meeker County produces turkeys for Hormel's Jennie-O brand. The company said the birds were not ready for market and have not entered the food chain.

The flock consists of 310,000 turkeys. It is not yet clear whether all the birds will be slaughtered but Jennie-O president Glenn Leitch played down the impact a cull would have on Jennie-O's ability to source birds. "The affected turkeys make up only a fraction of one percent of the company’s supply chain and will not affect our ability to serve our customers," he stressed.

Hormel did not comment on the potential financial impact of the bird flu outbreak.

The company said it is co-operating with the US Department of Agriculture alongside other regulators and stakeholders to contain the outbreak. "We are diligently managing the occurrence in full cooperation with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, as well as our industry associations and other poultry companies in our region," Leitch said.

To date, H5N2 has been detected in Arkansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington state, Idaho and California, the USDA confirmed. The outbreak has prompted countries including Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, Singapore and Nicaragua to restrict the import of US poultry.