Bird flu deaths send egg prices skyrocketing just in time for Easter

American families who want to buy Easter eggs to dye at the supermarket or just want a high-protein breakfast are in for an unpleasant surprise.

While inflation is already Grocery shoppers slam In their paperbacks, a bad case of bird flu drives up the price of eggs even more.

The U.S. Agricultural, Animal, and Plant Inspection Service said Monday that 21 states have confirmed cases of highly pathogenic bird flu, which infects and kills poultry on both commercial farms and people’s backyards.

The agency said more than 17 million chickens and turkeys have died due to the disease. An estimated 3% of the entire US flock – more than 11 million egg-laying chickens – have died, as have two million commercially raised turkeys.

Fortunately, no cases of humans contracting bird flu have been reported. According to the World Health Organization and the CDC, Avian flu is transmitted when people come into contact with the saliva, mucus, or droppings of infected birds. There is no evidence that the disease can be transmitted from properly cooked poultry, and the USDA and the National Turkey Federation have stated that avian flu does not raise any food safety concerns.

But the widespread deaths of poultry that produce eggs has resulted in a supply shock, while at the same time seasonal demand for eggs is set to increase over the upcoming Easter and Passover holidays – meaning prices will rise.

Shelled egg prices have risen more than 50% to $2.88 a dozen since Feb. 8, when the first case of bird flu was found in a commercial turkey flock in Indiana. CNET reports.

The last time bird flu swept through US farms in 2015, egg prices nearly doubled and the industry lost more than $1.5 billion.

“Egg availability heading into Easter will certainly be hampered,” said Brian Earnest, animal protein economist at CoBank. serious spoke to the Wall Street Journal about the rising prices, which he attributed to the population of laying hens falling in recent years from 340 million in April 2019 to around 322 million in February 2022.

Though prices are rising, industry analysts don’t anticipate a shortage of eggs any time soon. They say retailers have bought enough eggs to get through the holidays and weather the supply shortages.

Rebecca Jarvis, correspondent at ABC News, reports that shoppers should look for apps that can save on grocery bills, like Ibotta and Checkout 51, which give customers cashback on groceries. Another app called Basket compares grocery prices to find the cheapest options for shoppers in their area. Bird flu deaths send egg prices skyrocketing just in time for Easter

Laura Coffey

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