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

The Egg price hike Shrinking family budgets in America. In recent years Americans have reduced their intake of beef and venison and increased the number of eggs they consume. Information From the US Department of Agriculture.

Egg consumption has grown in part because more families are eating them as a key protein substitute, Los Angeles Times reporter Sonja Sharp said. said CBS News. “Each of us eats one hen’s eggs a year,” he said.

As demand for eggs has increased, production in the United States has fallen Bird, or “bird,” flu epidemic. On January 6, according to the USDA, nearly 58 million birds were infected with bird flu said, the worst outbreak in US history. Sick birds must be culled, reducing egg supply and raising prices.

With the disease affecting 47 states, families and restaurants are now paying higher prices for eggs.

For example, in California, information The average price of a dozen eggs hit $7.37 last week, up from $2.35 a year ago. The national average egg price per dozen wholesale is now $3.30, USDA said Last week. The average price of a dozen eggs in the U.S. city rose to a record $3.58 in November, according to a recent report information Available from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Prices are unlikely to drop again until new chickens are born free of infection and reach laying age, Sharp said. According to the USDA, more than 300 farm-raised chickens had the outbreak as of last Friday. Information.

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

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

What is bird flu?

Avian influenza is transmitted by free-flying waterfowl such as ducks, geese, and shorebirds, and affects chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quail, domestic geese, ducks, and guinea fowl. Another major recent epidemic of the disease killed more than 50 million chickens and turkeys in 2014 and 2015, while causing economic losses of $3.3 billion, the USDA estimates. The company is now researching a potential vaccine against bird flu.

Fortunately, there is no public health risk associated with bird flu is less, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, cooking all poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165˚F is advised 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 – is adding to inflationary pressures.

Consumer Price Index – A closely watched measure of inflation – An increase of 7.1% in December from previous year. Falling prices for energy, commodities and used cars offset increases in food and lodging.

However, despite the price increase, eggs remain relatively cheap compared to the cost of other proteins such as chicken or beef, with an average of $4.42 a pound of chicken breast and $4.85 a pound of ground beef in November, according to the government. information.

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

“We (with neighbors) are thinking about building a chicken coop behind our house so that eventually I hope not to have to buy them and have my own eggs, and I think the cost will come down to some extent,” said the 46-year-old public school teacher. While shopping at HarvestsTime Foods on the north side of town. “For me, it’s about environmental impact and trying to buy locally.”

— The Associated Press contributed to this report

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