Paying more for eggs, cake mix: Grocery prices rise as bird flu spreads


Avian flu has now infected 85 farms in Minnesota, spread across 21 counties, state officials said Tuesday, resulting in the death of at least 5.6 million birds.

Just one state south, Iowa – the nation's leading egg producer - identified the virus in flocks in three more counties, affecting 25.4 million birds. Nearly 23 million of those are egg layers.

And now consumers are feeling the impact in the grocery store.

The Associated Press reports the price of a carton of eggs in the Midwest region has gone up 17 percent in the past month (from $1.19 to $1.39). And egg prices had already been rising thanks to an uptick in popularity, Food Navigator pointed out last fall.

Turkey breast meat, like you get from the deli, has also jumped in price by a few cents.

The biggest impact though has been on eggs used in processed foods – think cake mix, mayonnaise and even some noodles, the Egg Farmers of Canada says.

The AP says the price of those eggs has gone up 40 cents in the past few weeks.

A lot of people eat eggs

The American Egg Board says total shell egg production hit 7.42 billion during March 2015 – up 1 percent from the year before.

Minnesota, according to the board, has the eighth-largest hen flock in the country, with nearly 11.4 million birds. Iowa is first with more than 58.3 million

Earlier this month, PBS Newshour asked: how did it get so bad there?

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Bird flu in Nebraska, Indiana

This week, the USDA announced a flock of 1.7 million chickens in Nebraska was found to have the H5N2 flu virus (the same strain found in Minnesota and Iowa). It's the first such confirmed outbreak in the state.

And the agency said a farm in Indiana tested positive for the H5N8 flu virus, the first discovery of that strain along the Mississippi flyway. Previously, it had only been found in the Pacific flyway.

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