Fast casual restaurant chain Panda Express is making adjustments to what it is serving at its U.S. restaurants because of a short supply of egg products brought on by the 2015 avian influenza outbreak.
The U.S.-based restaurant chain that specializes in Chinese food, changed its recipe for fried rice, substituting corn for eggs, reported CBS San Francisco. The restaurant chain also temporarily discontinued its hot and sour soup, which has eggs as a key ingredient.
Panda Express spokesperson Thien Ho said there was no specific timeline for when the company would return to its former menu concerning the egg-related dishes, but Ho added that the change could last more than a year.
“We have been informed by suppliers that the egg shortage will last between 18-24 months. Egg prices have definitely [increased] for those who are able to purchase them. In our case, the number of suppliers from whom we can purchase liquid is extremely limited, which jeopardizes our ability to consistently purchase safe and reliable product,” Ho said.
To date, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has reported 223 confirmed detections of avian influenza, affecting more than 48 million birds. Commercial layer flocks accounted for a substantial percent of those birds that were lost as a result of the avian influenza outbreak.