It’s going to cost you more to buy a carton of eggs in the grocery store, thanks to a spike in avian flu cases in the Midwest.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, the price of eggs has risen from $1.22 per dozen in May to $1.95 this week. That huge jump in cost is the result of an increase in cases of avian flu in many egg-laying farms across the Midwestern area of the United States.
47 million birds have been euthanized due to the illness, which equates to about 10 percent of the nation’s egg-laying hens.
“That’s hard to grasp,” said Gregory Martin, a Penn State Extension poultry scientist told the Burlington County Times, “but if it was people, it would be equal to the population of New York City, Chicago and L.A. together.”
This also means that the price of egg-based products, like mayonnaise and baked goods, are also rising in cost. Avian flu has been reported this year in 15 states this year, with most of the cases found in Iowa and Minnesota.
Fast food restaurants have also been affected by the egg shortage. Whataburger recently announced that they were limiting sales of egg products to only six of the twelve hours that they serve breakfast food.
U.S. News and World Report says that the United States normally exports around 30 million dozen eggs each month, but will soon begin importing eggs from the Netherlands to help resolve the shortage caused by the outbreak.
Although it is unclear when the spike in flu cases will decrease, both consumers and egg producers hope it’s sooner rather than later.