The number of federally inspected shell eggs broken for egg products dropped significantly during May, largely affected as a result of the 2015 avian influenza outbreak.
According to the USDA's Egg Products report, which was released on June 30, 166 million dozen shell eggs were broken during May, down 15 percent from the 195 million dozen eggs broken during May 2014, and down 9 percent from the 181 million dozen eggs broken during April 2015.
Also contributing to the fewer reported broken eggs in May 2015 was that the USDA’s May reporting period was one day shorter in 2015 than it was in 2014. The May 2014 reporting period included 22 weekdays, 5 Saturdays and 1 holiday, while the May 2015 reporting period included 21 weekdays, 5 Saturdays and 1 holiday.
The Egg Products report also revealed that cumulative total edible product from eggs broken in 2015 to date has been 1,167 million pounds, down slightly from the amount recorded during this time span in 2014.
Avian influenza to date has affected more than 48 million birds in the United States, according to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) with a large percentage of those avian influenza cases impacting layer flocks in Iowa and other Midwestern states.