Bakers hail new egg supplies from The Netherlands, but warn that avian flu crisis is ‘far from over’

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

More than 46.7m birds have been impacted by the recent avian flu outbreak in the US
More than 46.7m birds have been impacted by the recent avian flu outbreak in the US

Related tags Avian influenza Influenza

The arrival of egg products from The Netherlands “may make up for about 10% of the supply that’s been lost due to the impact of the avian influenza” in the US, says the American Bakers Association. 

However, while it will make a difference, “more needs to be done​”, ABA director of government relations Cory Martin told FoodNavigator-USA.

“The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service granted equivalency to the Netherlands this past Monday, paving the way for the Netherlands to export pasteurized egg products to the U.S. It will make a difference, but more needs to be done. “

Asked whether the avian flu outbreak that has devastated the US hen-laying flock was now over, he said: “It’s far from over. New outbreaks have been reported this week in Iowa and Minnesota.  We’re hoping that once warmer weather has a chance to settle it, it will eradicate the virus, at least for the time being and give the government and farmers some time to address the issue.”

But he added: “The fear is that while it may dissipate this summer, it could come back this fall and winter, which will prolong the crisis and only further decimate the egg laying hen population.”

In a statement issued on June 1, he said: “We are now at 35% of the egg product supply being taken offline due to the avian influenza... We are facing a true crisis, and without additional actions to increase supply, bakers and many other food manufacturers face dire situations in the coming weeks and months."

Click HERE for up to date information from USDA on the avian flu outbreak, which has affected 46.7m birds since December 2014.  

Click HERE​ and HERE​ to read more about the impact of the outbreak on the food industry.

Picture​: USDA and contract workers conduct cleaning and disinfection as loads leave a premises. Photo by Mike Milleson for USDA.

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