H-E-B limiting number of eggs you can buy amid shortage


AUSTIN (KXAN/AP) — H-E-B is limiting customer the number of cartons of eggs they can buy. Some stores we reached out to Thursday morning say you cannot buy more than three cartons.

You may have also noticed egg prices have gone up due to a shortage. This comes at the same time tens of millions of chickens have died from the avian flu, so the United States is facing a temporary disruption in the supply of eggs.

“The avian flu this year has impacted a significant portion of the egg-laying population in the United States (over 30 million birds). This temporary constriction in the US market has caused an increase in price and shortage in availability of eggs,” said an H-E-B statement on the issue. “H-E-B works hard to absorb price increases and to level out the volatility in the commodity market for our customers. H-E-B’s egg procurement team is monitoring the situation closely; we understand the importance of this product to all customers and take market availability matters seriously.”

Still, H-E-B officials say they’re “committed to ensuring Texas families and households have access to eggs” — speaking specifically about eggs for commercial sales.

“We are asking our customers to limit their purchase to three cartons per purchase (regardless of carton size),” said the statement. “The signs placed on our shelves last week are to deter commercial users from buying eggs in bulk.”

There is no word on how long the policy might remain in effect, but we’ve already seen other effects of the egg shortage.

At least two fast-food chains were forced to make changes: McDonald’s is being forced to find new sources for eggs, while southern chain Whataburger is cutting back on how long it serves breakfast.

Many U.S. egg producers have been affected by the recent outbreak of Avian Flu. Officials studying the worst bird flu outbreak in the U.S. say the virus has led to 40 million dead birds – mostly turkeys and egg-laying chickens – either from the disease or euthanized to prevent its spread.

With egg supplies dwindling, the price of eggs used in food products and shell eggs we eat for breakfast will climb higher. Carton egg prices reached a record in late May of $2.32 a dozen for Midwest large eggs, said Rick Brown, a senior vice president for Urner Barry, a commodity market analysis firm. That’s a 95 percent increase in a month.

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