The Egg & I Takes Hit After Avian Flu Outbreak

The Egg & I Takes Hit After Avian Flu Outbreak

Caitlin Williams

NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Egg prices continue to rise after a widespread outbreak of bird flu. According to the USDA, more than 44 million birds have been affected. For an eating establishment that prides itself on eggs, the avian flu outbreak hit Odessa's The Egg & I hard.

"I thought, we are The Egg & I. And if we don't have any eggs, we'll probably just be "& I."

The increased prices of eggs have been felt by the restaurant. General Manager Hele Kaawa says shelled eggs have increased by a minimum of $10. Egg whites has increased by $30 or $40, and the price increases don't stop there.

"We get liquid eggs and one case of liquid usually cost anywhere from $20 to $30," Kaawa said. "It's probably $50 to $60 right now."

Kaawa says every item on their menu contains egg. A tough break for The Egg & I that will unfortunately trickle down to the customers.

"There will be a slight increase. We're trying to keep it minimal but it will probably be a 20 to 30 cent increase on our menu items."

One consumer is opting out of buying eggs all together.

"On a day to day basis, everybody eats eggs so it's going to affect everybody," said Corey Duhon. "It's going to affect me because i'm going in to Wal-Mart right now and I'm not buying eggs."

Kaawa says she doesn't expect this outbreak crisis to go away any time soon. It will take about 12 to 15 months for the chicken farms to be decontaminated., raise a new flock of chickens and finally see production. But don't give up on this restaurant just yet.

"Keep coming, we'll have the eggs. I'll find it some way, somehow, and we'll try to make everyone happy," she said.