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Egg prices affected by Avian flu

What this means for RDP Foodservice customers

For the first time since 2008, egg production will decline. As a result, the USDA projects that industrial egg prices will soar to an all time high. According to the Columbus Dispatch, more than 48 million chickens and turkeys have been lost to Avian Influenza nationwide.

What we’re doing for you

In response to this epidemic, many suppliers have been forced to distribute less and do not expect the issue to rectify itself anytime soon. RDP Foodservice has taken great measures to source product from new suppliers to minimize possible shortages to customers. But, with any supply issue comes price increases. However, customers will not experience an increase anywhere near the industrial egg increase which has nearly tripled in the past month.

Thus far RDP has experienced little impact. The only item that has been difficult to source is hard boiled peeled eggs. In turn, the product was allocated evenly across the board so all customers received at least a partial order — this should only last a few days. Otherwise, orders were undisrupted as white eggs can be substituted with brown eggs and medium eggs with large.

What does this mean for the Buckeye State?

Traditionally, egg-laying farms can be found in the north and midwest, with Ohio as the second-largest egg producer in the United States, second only to Iowa. So far Ohio has been fortunate; no cases of avian flu outbreak have been reported across Ohio’s farmlands. While neighboring states Kentucky, Michigan and Indiana have seen otherwise. Though this proves good news for our state, it doesn’t resolve the impact industry-wide, resulting in higher prices for consumers, food service distributors and restaurants.

Can the Avian Influenza virus cross species?

Avian Influenza can infect domestic poultry, as well as other animal species. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed that, at this time, no human infections have been detected. However, 15 states have reported the detection of avian flu in both chickens and turkeys. The first sign of Avian Influenza is lethargy, while the first sign of an outbreak is an increase in mortality.

Egg-onomic impact

This particular strand of bird flu swept from California to Michigan, ultimately nesting in Iowa’s top egg-laying farm. Unsurprisingly, the outbreak has not affected raw chicken sales, as Avian Influenza thrives in cold temperatures, as opposed to warmer climates, and chicken farms are found in the south.

In fact, the USDA foresees chicken prices to go down as countries around the world have banned American chicken. This means a greater supply, which translates to lower chicken costs.

While overall costs for raw chicken are projected to fare well in comparison, liquid-egg costs will more than triple. This spike will affect the likings of food service distributors and food production industries — liquid-egg suppliers’ biggest clients — the most as more than 30 percent of their liquid-egg supply is gone.

The last time the egg industry was hit this hard was in the 1980s, also at the mercy of Avian Influenza. The Columbus Dispatch noted that after the avian flu outbreak of 1983 and 1984, it took the egg business two years to rebound. The hope, however, is that this will only affect food service distributors for the next nine to 12 weeks.

We’re here for you. Contact us with any questions.

Here at RDP Foodservice we keep the health and safety of our family at the forefront, and we want to do the same for you and yours. Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns regarding eggs, or any part of your order.


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