Egg prices set to increase 

GRIFFITH residents may find themselves shelling out more for a carton of eggs this festive season after an outbreak of bird flu shut down two poultry farms.

About 450,000 chickens have been destroyed at a free range and caged egg farm in Young, creating a national shortfall, which will cause prices to rise and take six to 12 months to abate.

The shortages come as a result of the fallout from the recent outbreaks of the H7 avian influenza.

It has been estimated it could cost home bakers as much as $8 for a dozen eggs, meaning Christmas menus may need to be adjusted. Ross Catanzariti from Rossies Supermarket said they were closely monitoring supply so there was no need for locals to flip out just yet.

"If you wipe out two farms you will experience some shortages over the range of eggs," he said.

"We are keeping our eye on it and keeping our orders up."

A spokesperson from Bertoldo's Bakery, where they use a pallet of eggs a week said they were aware of the shortage and expected it to have some sort of impact for the next three to four months.

"We don't know where the prices will end up, but hopefully before Easter it will settle down," he said.

"But there will be eggs available, so there is no need for consumers to panic."

Erin Vaccari from Vaccari's Bakery said it would be a wait and see situation.

"No one has officially told us anything," she said.

"We use more than 1000 eggs a week. A lot of our lines use eggs. So it will have some affect on us, I'm just not sure how much yet.

"I suppose people who are buying by the dozen will probably stop and consider if they have two poached eggs for breakfast or just one.

"My advice is to go out and buy some chooks."

A Woolworth's spokeswoman said: "Customers in NSW and Victoria may notice some gaps in egg supply in stores. We have been working with our suppliers to maintain supply and minimise any impact on customers".

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