Michael Foods hit hard by Nebraska avian influenza cases
Three Michael Foods flocks have had confirmed cases of avian influenza while a fourth flock is suspected of being affected by virus
About 35 percent of Michael Foods’ egg volume commitments have been affected as a result of recent infections of avian influenza at the company’s Nebraska egg facilities.
Post Holdings, which acquired Michael Foods in 2014, stated on May 27 that Michael Foods’ egg supply has been seriously compromised as three company-owned flocks in Nebraska have tested positive for avian influenza.
The company did not specifically mention which three flocks were affected, but the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has reported three confirmed cases of avian influenza in Nebraska – all of which are in Dixon County layer flocks. Nearly 3.6 million birds were affected in those three cases. While those are the only three confirmed cases in Nebraska as of May 27, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) on the same day reported that confirmed preliminary testing has shown the presence of another H5N2 avian influenza case in Knox County, Nebraska. According to NDA, the Knox County case involves a flock of 3 million hens, and is owned by the same operator as the three Dixon County cases.
In a press release, Post Holdings stated that “Michael Foods continues to take various effective measures to partially mitigate the financial impact, including discontinuation of certain product lines and appropriate pricing actions.”
Michael Foods is the sixth largest egg producer in the United States, according to the WATT Global Media Top Companies database.
To track confirmed cases of the North American avian influenza outbreak, see WATTAgNet's avian influenza tracker map and bookmark the avian influenza update page for news about and analysis of avian influenza.