Avian flu is devastating the egg industry across the Midwestern U.S. So far, the virulent strain of H5N2 has been detected at 201 farms in 15 states, triggering the destruction of 44.7 million chickens and turkeys, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Many of the affected farms have what are called “breaker” operations – the eggs are broken right there on the farm and processed to be “liquid eggs.”
These liquid, frozen and powdered eggs are used in commercial baking for products like bread, cookies and crackers, as well as in restaurants. And bakers have been getting anxious about dwindling supplies and higher prices.
On Monday, USDA said it would soon allow pasteurized egg imports from the Netherlands.