Egg prices have more than tripled in some states over the last year. Here’s why.

rising egg prices Making a dent in the household budget in America. According to data from the US Department of Agriculture, in recent years Americans have increased their consumption of eggs while reducing their intake of beef and venison.

Los Angeles Times reporter Sonja Sharp told CBS News that egg consumption has risen partly because more families are eating them as their main protein option. “Each of us eats as many eggs as one hen can lay in a year,” he said.

As demand for eggs rises, production declines due to ongoing U.S. furlough bird, or “avian,” flu pandemics, The USDA said that as of January 6, about 58 million birds have been infected with avian flu, making it the deadliest outbreak in US history. Infected birds must be slaughtered, which causes the supply of eggs to drop and prices to rise.

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Families and restaurants alike are now paying higher prices for eggs as the outbreak impacts 47 states.

In California, for example, data shows the average price of a dozen eggs reached $7.37 last week, compared to $2.35 a year ago. The USDA said last week that the national average wholesale price of eggs per dozen is now $3.30. The average price for a dozen eggs by US city rose to a record $3.58 in November, according to the most recent data available from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

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Sharp said prices won’t drop again until new chickens are born without infection and grow to egg-laying age. As of last Friday, more than 300 farm-poultry flocks have been hit by the outbreak, according to USDA data.

In New York, grocery store owner Jose Filipe said rising egg prices have caused many customers to change their spending habits.

“I’ve seen customers shift from buying organic eggs to buying more conventional eggs, and especially now, half a dozen. Prices have quadrupled in about six or seven months,” he said. recently told CBS New York’s Jenna DeAngelis,

What is avian flu?

Bird flu is carried by free-flying waterfowl, such as ducks, geese, and seabirds, and infects chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quail, domestic ducks, geese, and guinea fowl. The USDA estimates that in another major recent epidemic of the disease, it killed more than 50 million chickens and turkeys in 2014 and 2015, while causing an economic loss of $3.3 billion. The agency is now researching a possible vaccine against bird flu.

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Fortunately, the public health risk associated with bird flu remains low, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nevertheless, it is recommended to cook all poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 ˚F as a general food safety rule.

The cost of processed eggs – used in liquid or powdered form in manufactured products including salad dressings, cake mixes and chips – also rose, adding to inflationary pressures.

Consumer Price Index – A closely watched inflation gauge – grew 7.1% in December since last year. Falling prices for energy, commodities and used cars offset increases in food and shelter.

Despite cost increases, however, eggs remain relatively cheap compared to the cost of other proteins such as chicken or beef, with a pound of chicken breast selling for $4.42 and a pound of ground beef for $4.85 on average in November, according to the government. Figures.

But if egg prices remain high, Chicago resident Kelly Fisher said she’ll start thinking more seriously about building a backyard chicken coop because everyone in her family eats eggs.

“We (with neighbours) are considering building a chicken coop at the back of our houses so eventually I hope I won’t have to buy them and have my own eggs and I think the cost comes to some extent,”46 the year-old public school teacher while shopping at HarvesTime Foods on the city’s North Side. “For me, it’s more environmental impact and trying to buy locally.”

-The Associated Press contributed to this report


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