The highly-pathogenic avian influenza has spread across the central United States, killing about 39 million chickens, turkeys, and other birds since December 2014. This will affect egg supplies and prices, and may even affect prices for Thanksgiving turkeys this fall.
Goldman Sachs reports that U.S. consumers will probably pay $8 billion more to buy eggs this year. That is an increase of at least 75% from last year. Corporations that buy eggs in bulk will also spend much more money. Large chains are concentrating on securing egg supplies. According to the American Egg Board, U.S. consumers ate almost 260 egg per person last year.
The bird flu was introduced into this country by wild migrating birds, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health. If the virus moves east, the poultry industry will be hit even harder.
The American Egg Board has tips about AI and eggs. They say that people can’t get AI from eating eggs, as long as they are safely handled and properly prepared. That means you must wash your hands well with soap and water after handling raw eggs, even just touching the shell. Eggs should always be cooked well done, or to 165°F. Sunny side up, poached, and fried eggs are not safe unless cooked until the yolk is firm.