Thanksgiving dinner might cost a little more this year.
The outbreak affected over 40 million birds, including about six million turkeys. The influenza made its recent introduction in the spring, and experts fear it’ll return in the coming months.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the outbreak is the second-deadliest on record.
Hormel Foods Corp. executives say that the outbreak has affected its supply chain, and that production volume is expected to remain low through the end of the first quarter of fiscal year 2023.
Due to increased prices, Hormel’s quarterly profits increased by about $30 million from last year.
“Lower industrywide turkey supplies are expected to keep prices higher,” said Jacinth Smiley, Hormel’s chief financial officer.
Even with supply chain issues, enough turkeys are expected to be in the stores for the holiday season, according to The National Turkey Federation.
In 2015, the deadliest avian-influenza outbreak left about 50 million birds dead. Since then, the USDA has developed more accurate virus detection mechanisms.
Beth Breeding of the National Turkey Federation said that while there were some issues with turkey availability in 2015, they were settled by the holiday season.