The United States will begin importing eggs from the Netherlands for the first time in more than a decade in order to compensate for the ongoing bird flu outbreak, which was confirmed on Monday, June 8, to have reached Michigan, the 21st state affected.
Within the next few days, five egg processors in the Netherlands are expected to undergo final export certification processes, and then begin selling eggs to companies within the United States.
According to the Agriculture Marketing Service, seven countries in total have now been approved to import eggs to American bakeries and food processors: the Netherlands, Chile, Argentina, France, Germany, Spain, and Portugal.
Under normal circumstances, the United States produces enough to meet domestic supply and still export more than 30 million eggs a month to trade partners like Mexico and Canada, according to The Associated Press.
The recent outbreak of H5N2, however, has killed nearly 47 million birds and counting, including 35 million egg-laying hens. Resulting egg shortages have driven up domestic egg prices, and forced major food companies to consider ingredient alternatives to eggs for the time being — or, in the case of Whataburger, limit its nationwide breakfast hours until egg supplies are stable once again.