Another Egg Crisis? Cal-Maine Halts Operations in One Texas Facility Due to Bird Flu

Cal-Maine Foods (Nasdaq: CALM), the leading fresh egg producer in the US, announced a pause in operations at one of its Texas facilities after testing positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), commonly known as bird flu. 

In a statement, the company said that approximately 1.6 million egg-laying hens and 337,000 pullets, comprising 3.6% of its total flock, had to be culled after the virus was detected at the plant in Parmer County, located in the Texas Panhandle.

“The Company continues to work closely with federal, state, and local government officials and focused industry groups to mitigate the risk of future outbreaks and effectively manage the response,” they said in the statement.

The company aims to secure production from other facilities to minimize disruptions in supply to its customers, primarily in the Southwestern, Southeastern, Midwestern, and mid-Atlantic regions.

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The announcement from Cal-Maine follows the recent confirmation of bird flu cases in commercial dairy herds across multiple states, including Texas, Kansas, Michigan, and Idaho. Michigan’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development also reported the detection of the virus at a commercial poultry facility in Ionia County, marking the fourth instance since 2022 that the disease has been identified at a commercial operation in the state.

While the risk to the public remains low, concerns have been raised after a person in Texas was diagnosed with bird flu after exposure to infected cows, representing the first known global case of human transmission from a mammal. 

Authorities stress that properly handled and cooked eggs pose no health risks, as indicated by the US Department of Agriculture guidelines.

Information for this story was found via the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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