HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
A massive bird flu outbreak on the mainland is leading to rising egg prices in Hawaii. Many grocery stores in the islands are charging at least $4 for a dozen eggs.
Local restaurants are also worried about the disease devastating the poultry industry. Eggs 'n Things serves breakfast around the clock, cooking up roughly 12,000 eggs a day at its three Oahu restaurants.
"We are known for our eggs, omelets, pancakes as well so all of those items are pretty popular. Omelets are three egg omelets so they come out pretty nice and large," said Marshall Dang, manager of Eggs 'n Things.
The business uses eggs from local suppliers, but management is keeping track of problems on the mainland caused by the country's largest-ever avian flu outbreak. More than 47 million birds have been affected, according to the latest figures from the USDA. The price of a dozen large Grade A eggs is expected to hit a record high this year.
"We are aware of the shortage that is going on so it's of concern, but because we deal with local companies, we're doing the best that we can right now," said Dang.
Petersons' Upland Farm in Wahiawa is one of a few local suppliers on Oahu.
"We've had a lot of people coming because we were either the same or cheaper than the mainland now," said manager Sharon Peterson Cheape.
The farm relies on birds from the mainland to replace its aging hens. The business has already had some trouble bringing in new birds, and said it wouldn't be able to meet a huge surge in demand for local eggs.
"We personally would not be able to. I'm not even sure if the other local farms could keep up with the demand altogether, all of us," said Peterson Cheape.
With the future still fragile, those who rely on eggs hope they won't have to scramble for supplies.
"In the tradition of our previous owner, we're trying to maintain the same prices, reasonable prices for our guests. It may result in something like that in the future if it gets really bad," said Dang.