A bird flu outbreak detected at the largest chicken egg producer in the United States could have repercussions on egg prices in New York. Cal-Maine Foods, Inc., based in Mississippi, has temporarily stopped production at one of its facilities in Texas after identifying bird flu cases.

To stop the disease from spreading, the Cal-Maine Foods decided to eliminate about 1.6 million laying hens and 337,000 pullets, which is around 3.6 percent of their flock. Bird flu, or highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), is a very contagious virus that usually spreads among birds through wild birds.

When there's an outbreak, farms often have to get rid of some birds to prevent the disease from spreading further. Cal-Maine Foods is now trying to make up for the production loss by getting eggs from their other facilities.

Wider Outbreak Affects Livestock Across the US

This outbreak is part of a bigger problem affecting livestock on dairy farms all over the US. The US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has confirmed bird flu cases in dairy herds in Texas, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, and Idaho.

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In fact, Texas Department of State Health Services recently even reported a confirmed case of bird flu in a person connected to a dairy cattle outbreak. That's only the second case of its kind in the United States.

This bird flu is usually not too harmful to cattle, but for birds, it's a big danger. That's why when there's an outbreak, poultry producers often have to get rid of a lot of birds so they can clean everything up fast to get rid of the virus before adding healthy birds back in.

Impact on Egg Prices in New York

Because of this outbreak, there might be fewer eggs available in New York for a while, which could cause the prices to go up. The extent of the increase will depend on how many flocks are affected at the same time and how many birds they have to remove from production.

It is worth noting that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of contracting bird flu from consuming contaminated eggs is low. Properly cooked and stored eggs do not pose a transmission risk.

Efforts to Contain and Manage the Situation

Authorities and experts are actively working to contain and manage the situation, prioritizing public health and ensuring a stable supply of eggs in the market.

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