The Bay Area scrambles to find elusive eggs as bird flu chokes off supplies

Joe Warren of San Francisco took one look at the empty shelves on Saturday and cracked it all up: “No weirdo eggs!”

Not at Safeway on Monterey Boulevard where Warren had hoped to find them, nor at Trader Joe’s on nearby Winston Road.

“This is madness!” Megan Berry said, staring at the barren counters at Trader Joe’s where the eggs were supposed to be. She was hoping to stock up after returning from a trip to Missouri and Florida for the holidays. But what was in front of her were just a few open cartons, stained with cracked contents.

In fact, customers all over California are scrambling to find eggs, and the problem has gotten worse in the last week or so. It’s as if they were all caught.

Megan Berry of San Francisco was hoping to stock up on eggs at Trader Joe’s on Winston Dr.

Nanette Asimov

“Due to a nationwide egg shortage and to support all customers, we are limiting egg purchases to two packages per customer,” said a notice at Whole Foods on 20th Avenue in San Francisco. The store had cartons for sale, but the shelves looked like insufficient omelettes, with empty spots.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly every state has had at least one outbreak of bird flu over the course of the year, with hundreds of cases affecting nearly 58 million wild and domestic birds.

On Saturday, representatives from Whole Foods, Safeway and Trader Joe’s did not respond to requests for comment.

In San Francisco, a Trader Joe’s customer named Tom stared at the shelves empty like a chicken house at feeding time. A reporter said bird flu was the obvious cause of the egg loss, but Tom called that an exaggeration.

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