Agents along the southern U.S. border are stopping more and more people from bringing eggs into the country, as prices for the normally-cheap kitchen staple soar, officials say.
The cost of eggs increased 60% over the last year and 11% in December alone, due to supply chain issues and the worst bird flu epidemic America has ever faced, with nearly 58 million birds affected, McClatchy News reported.
Meanwhile, eggs are comparably low-cost in Mexico, at least against the dollar, according to Border Report. In Juarez, for example, a shopper can buy a carton of 30 eggs for just $3.40.
Those savings have apparently been tempting for many, as U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials reported an increase in egg seizures of 108% from October through December, according to the outlet.
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From Texas to California, border officials have taken notice of the trend.
“The San Diego Field Office has recently noticed an increase in the number of eggs intercepted at our ports of entry,” Jennifer De La O, director of field operations for San Diego, said in a Jan. 17 tweet. “As a reminder, uncooked eggs are prohibited entry from Mexico into the U.S. Failure to declare agriculture items can result in penalties of up to $10,000.”
Foods confiscated by CBP are destroyed.
The good news is egg prices are beginning to drop at the wholesale level, experts say, though it could take some time for the prices at the grocery store to catch up, McClatchy News reported.