“The San Diego Field Office has recently noticed an increase in the number of eggs intercepted at our ports of entry. As a reminder, uncooked eggs are prohibited entry from Mexico into the U.S. Failure to declare agriculture items can result in penalties of up to $10,000,” said U.S. Customers and Border Patrol (CBP) field officer Jennifer De La O in a tweet.
CBP said there was a 108% increase in seized egg products and poultry at ports of entry from Oct. 1 to Dec 31 of last year. The price of a dozen eggs rose from $3.50 to $5.30 during that period, according to NewsNation affiliate BorderReport.
Right now, U.S. retailers are trying to replenish inventory to normal operating levels, and it could be several months before eggs are at the price point shoppers are used to paying for. Even those prices won’t be what they once were, as inflation continues to affect the cost of food across the board.
While inflation is wearing down the wallets of many Americans, the blame for the price hike on eggs can be largely placed on an outbreak of bird flu across the U.S.
More than 57 million birds have been affected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About 43 million egg-laying hens were lost either to the disease itself or to depopulation since the outbreak started. All of this is leaving egg inventories down nearly 30%.
The CDC said, in part: “These viruses naturally spread among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species. Bird flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, sporadic human infections with bird flu viruses have occurred.”
The Associated Press and NewsNation writer Caitlyn Shelton contributed to this report.