The US poultry industry has launched a new website to respond to any public concerns that may occur over avian influenza, with the message: "It's not in your food."

The site, a joint project of the National Chicken Council (NCC), National Turkey Federation (NTF) and Egg Safety Center (ESC), features brief articles, a question-and-answer format and news releases.  Some information is also given in Spanish, and links are provided to sources of official information, such as the US Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The website will allow the industry to communicate with our partners, customers, and consumers regarding the latest information on avian influenza," said Hilary Shallo Thesmar, director of the Egg Safety Center in Washington, D.C.

"The goal of the poultry industry is to prevent the disease from occurring in our flocks and to continue to provide a safe, wholesome, and nutrient rich product," she added.

Richard Lobb, NCC communications director, said the site would emphasise that the US imports no poultry from areas affected by bird flu in Asia and that US poultry are protected from migratory birds and other potential sources of the avian influenza virus.

"As Thanksgiving is approaching and nearly every American will have turkey at the centre of their plate, this website will remind people that we don't import any turkeys into the United States," said Sherrie Rosenblatt, senior director of marketing and communications at NTF.