McDonald’s, 7-Eleven and mayonnaise maker Kewpie are just some of the firms in Japan contending with the worst-ever global outbreak of bird flu.
Of 100 listed restaurant companies in Japan, 18 had suspended egg-related items as of Sunday, according to Teikoku Databank.
Fewer hens led to a near doubling in the wholesale price of the farm staple last month to ￥327 (US$2.38) from a year earlier, the research firm said on Tuesday.
That means McDonald’s Holdings Co Japan Ltd’s Teritama Muffin is off the menu.
The breakfast sandwich, which combines egg, sausage and teriyaki sauce, is typically offered in spring each year.
The fast-food giant has also warned it could temporarily halt sales of hamburgers that contain eggs if supply disruptions persist.
Japan is just one of many countries wrestling with an outbreak that has sent egg prices skyrocketing in the US and caused a shortage of baby chicks in China.
At a time of heightened inflation fears around the globe, the unprecedented spread of the disease is yet another reminder of the grim impact of pandemics on markets for food.
Japan confirmed its first case in October last year, beginning the earliest bird flu season the country has seen, the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said.
The disease has spread to more than half of the nation’s prefectures, forcing the cull of about 15 million birds, the ministry said.
7-Eleven, owned by Seven & i Holdings Co and one of the many convenience stores ubiquitous across Japan, suspended the sale of some egg products in January.
Other measures have included swapping in vegetables for eggs in its tuna sandwiches, as well as increasing the portion of meat in its ham and egg offering.
Condiment-makers Kewpie Corp and Ajinomoto Co have said they would raise prices from next month for products like mayo and tartar sauce amid the surge in costs of one of their key ingredients.
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