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"The industry is actively thinking through contingency plans, so if it should happen, our members would be well prepared to deal with it," said Tim Hammonds, president of the Food Marketing Institute, an advocate for grocery wholesalers and retail supermarkets nationwide.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates a third of the population could fall ill if the H5N1 strain of the bird flu mutates into a form that spreads easily from person to person.