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Experts say bird flu outbreak is driving up egg prices across country

Why are eggs so expensive?
Why are eggs so expensive? 02:04

NEW YORK -- If you've been to the grocery store lately, you've probably noticed egg prices are high.

CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis spoke to experts about why this is happening and when they predict we'll see a change.

New Rochelle resident Donna Moses says she's cut back on buying eggs.

"I believe the eggs are too high, far too high," she said.

Grocery store owner Jose Filipe says she's not alone; many customers at New Rochelle Farms have changed their spending habits.

"I've seen customers gravitate from buying organic eggs now to more conventional eggs, and specifically now, the half dozen. Prices have quadrupled in about six or seven months," he said.

He says you'll notice a difference in price not just in cartons of eggs but also in products that contain eggs, like baked goods.

At one Manhattan grocery store where a dozen organic jumbo eggs costs nearly $10, there's a sign which notes, "A market-wide shortage is leading to higher prices."

But why?

"Back in March, the bird flu started affecting different farms," said Daniel Brey, president of Brey's Egg Farm.

Brey's Egg Farm in Sullivan County has not been affected, but the family behind it is taking every precaution.

"We're out there making sure we're protecting our chickens," said farm worker Vanessa Olsen.

"Unless you're a bigger farm, it puts you out of business, it does, if you get it. If you have one sick chicken, all the chickens have to be off the farm, one way or another," Brey said.

United States Department of Agriculture data shows more than 57 million birds were affected by the avian flu in 2022, marking the country's deadliest outbreak.

"In 2015, when it happened, once we went to the summer, it was over with. This year, the bird flu kept going. Matter of fact, there was birds that were still getting it, as in the first in December," Brey said.

He says it's the main reason for the nationwide egg shortage and spike in prices.

A representative for Stop & Shop sent CBS2 the following statement:

"Like other retailers, egg availability and pricing have been impacted by the ongoing avian influenza outbreaks. Egg costs are market driven. Stop & Shop is working diligently to ensure that we have egg varieties in stock for our customers, but some types and sizes have been more limited."

  • For more information about the bird flu, click here.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the year through November, average egg prices jumped 49.1%.

The good news is this week, the USDA has prices trending down.

"And the reason for that is after Christmas and New Year's, things get a little bit slower, people aren't going out for dinner as much ... so it should get better," Brey said.

It's a wait-and-see.

A new update from the USDA shows New York eggs are down 15 cents for all sizes. For more information, click here.

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