McDonald’s cuts breakfast hours in Australia as bird flu hits egg supply

Fast food giant says it will stop taking breakfast orders from 10:30am instead of midday due to egg supply crunch.

McDonald's in Australia is cutting back its breakfast hours due to egg supply constraints [Justin Sullivan/Getty Images via AFP]

McDonald’s restaurants in Australia have cut their breakfast service short due to a crunch in egg supplies caused by an outbreak of bird flu.

The fast food giant announced this week that it would temporarily cease its breakfast service from 10:30am instead of midday as usual due to the “current industry challenges” around securing eggs.

“We are working hard with our Aussie farmers and suppliers to return this back to normal as soon as possible. So, from Tuesday July 2nd, for a breakfast that really hits the spot, make sure you check the clock,” McDonad’s Australia said in a statement posted on its Facebook page on Tuesday.

Australian officials have reported cases of H7 avian influenza at 11 poultry farms across the country since May.

Authorities have ordered more than one million birds to be euthanised in the state of Victoria, where the outbreak began, with hundreds of thousands more to be culled in neighbouring New South Wales.

While the outbreak has affected only about 10 percent of Australia’s roughly 20 million egg-laying hens, authorities have reported localised disruptions in supplies to the retail, hospitality and manufacturing sectors.

Australian officials have asked consumers to refrain from buying more eggs than they need, while Australia’s two largest supermarket chains have limited purchases to two cartons per customer at most of their stores.

Rowan McMonnies, managing director of Australian Eggs, said last month that the disruptions were mostly a “matter of convenience” as supplies would likely hold up over the coming weeks.

“Consumers can be assured there’s still over 20 million hens under the care of hundreds of egg farmers across Australia that will continue to work hard to ensure there’s eggs on shelves,” McMonnies said in a statement.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies