CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A highly pathogenic avian influenza is responsible for the death of more than 57 million birds since January 2022, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This is the deadliest bird flu in recorded history. According to the CDC, this strain of the virus can spread to a whole flock within days from saliva, droppings and contaminated food and water.
The shortage of birds has led to a shortage of supply in eggs and a price increase. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average price of one dozen eggs in January 2022 was $1.93, by December 2022 the cost was recorded at $4.25.
Paul Villani, the owner of Villani's Bakery in Charlotte, says he uses eggs in almost all of his items.
"Depending on the day, because we make everything everyday, we go through between 150 and 240 dozen eggs a day," Villani said.
When Villani's Bakery first opened in 2017, Villani said he could get 30 dozen eggs for $36, now it costs him around $150.
"We're trying not to raise prices, and how we're avoiding that is that we're just paying attention to what we're doing so that we don't create any waste," Villani said. "We're just trying to be more efficient with everything."
Villani says he goes in-person to shop at grocery stores for what he needs, searching for anywhere that has a deal. He said this option is cheaper than using restaurant vendors to ship ingredients. Villani said one thing he will not sacrifice is the quality of his items.
"I understand that things peak," Villani said. "But, I would like to see a valley every once in a while."