The state of Iowa saw two new outbreaks of avian influenza these past couple of weeks.
Over 13 million birds in Iowa have now been killed because of the virus — a statistic directly leading to a shortage in poultry products on grocery store shelves. This resulted in a doubling of egg prices in just two weeks.
Local businesses — particularly those specializing in breakfast and brunches — are already struggling to keep up with the heightened prices.
“We’re just trying to have it so it’s affordable, but with everything going up we have to raise our prices as well just to keep our doors open,” said Melissa Figueroa, the owner of Meli’s Pancake House, Moline.
The Iowa Poultry Association says it is working closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state farmers’ bureaus to mitigate the negative consequences the outbreaks have had on consumers, farmers, and birds.
In a statement to Local 4 News, the association’s Executive Director Kevin Stiles wrote:
“It’s important to remember that eggs and poultry are an affordable source of high-quality protein. During this time, Iowa’s poultry and egg farmers remain hard at work to ensure our grocery stores are fully stocked with nutritious eggs.”