Sonoma County seeing egg shortage amid avian flu outbreak

ByCornell Barnard KGO logo
Saturday, January 6, 2024
North Bay seeing egg shortage amid avian flu outbreak
Sonoma County is seeing an egg shortage due to the recent avian flu outbreak which has impacted millions of egg-laying hens.

SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- In the North Bay, residents say it's no yolk when it comes to finding a dozen eggs at local grocery stores - it's been challenging. Many shoppers report empty shelves and low inventory. The shortage is being blamed on the recent outbreak of avian flu which has impacted millions of egg-laying hens.

"I'm not seeing any eggs," said Michelle Fehy.

Fehy from Novato is looking for eggs, but not finding many at her local grocery store inventory on shelves running low.

"I was here earlier in the week when they were empty," said Fehy.

"There's not an egg on the shelf, just an empty area," said shopper Barbara Barrish.

MORE: How NorCal's avian flu outbreak will impact you after more than 1 million birds euthanized

Stores like Safeway are posting signs, asking customers to limit their egg purchases to two packages per family.

We saw the same request posted at a Lucky supermarket due to a nationwide egg shortage that's largely blamed on the highly contagious avian flu, which has infected millions of turkeys and egg-laying hens. Officials say 11 commercial farms between Marin and Sonoma counties had to euthanize their flocks.

"At this point in time, over one million birds are impacted," said Sonoma County agricultural commissioner Andrew Smith.

"The farms are locked down, we don't let people in and out of the facilities," said Bill Mattos from the California Poultry Federation.

EttaMarie Peterson was watching her small flock of chickens and roosters at her family farm in Petaluma. She sells the eggs to customers and is having trouble keeping up with demand.

MORE: 1st US case of bird flu in humans confirmed in Colorado, CDC says

"It's crazy, I'm surprised there's any eggs in the fridge," Peterson said.

SaveMart stores tells ABC7 News in part:

"The Save Mart Companies has a list of suppliers that are working to provide safe, quality products so that we can continue to serve the needs of our shoppers."

At a time when the industry is trying to recover.

"All of the egg industry is hurting, every which way you can think of," said Peterson.

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