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Bird flu outbreak's impact on Easter eggs

It's typical for customers to see a price spike on eggs around Easter. What isn't typical is an outbreak of the bird flu at the same time.

SCRANTON, Pa. — Shoppers filling up their carts with eggs probably aren't surprised by a higher price tag this close to Easter.

"Every year around Easter, that is the highest annual price of eggs. You always see a spike, as you can imagine, for Easter," said Gerrity's Supermarkets co-owner Joe Fasula.

What you don't always see is a massive bird flu outbreak at the same time, driving the price of eggs up even higher.

It's the worst outbreak since 2015. Millions of chickens have either died from the illness or have been euthanized to prevent the spread on farms across the country.

The average price of eggs is $2.88, up 52 percent since the first confirmed case of avian flu was detected in February and the highest price since the start of the pandemic.

"The good news is that we were able to kind of get ahead of this," Fasula said. "Part of it was luck; part of it was planning."

Fasula says his team always buys in bulk, weeks ahead of the Easter season, to keep prices down.

If they didn't this time around, the price tag for a dozen large eggs would be double what it was this time last year.

"Right now, it's kind of hard to tell what's going to happen. If the avian flu keeps spreading, they're going to have to keep doing this. If they can contain it, and we get past Easter, I think it'll level off. It might not go back to where it was, but it will definitely level off," Fasula said.

Customers we talked to say it's all just par for the course at this point. But although their brains are used to registering those higher price stickers, that doesn't mean their wallets are.

"They've been impacting everybody. How can they not? It's tough, especially when you're retired, it's tough," said John from Dunmore.

The CDC says there are no food safety issues when it comes to the avian flu.

Watch stories about the coronavirus pandemic on WNEP’s YouTube page.

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