Coles Limits Egg Purchases Amid Bird Flu Outbreak in Victoria

Responding to the outbreak of bird flu at five farms in Victoria, Coles Supermarkets have taken proactive steps by enforcing a purchasing limit of two cartons of eggs per customer. This measure is not only addressing the supply chain disruptions but also ensuring that more customers can access eggs, thereby maintaining a sense of normalcy in these challenging times.

This restriction affects all Coles stores except those in Western Australia. Store notices read: “Due to a shortage of eggs, we have introduced a temporary limit of two items per customer/transaction. This will help maintain availability and support as many customers as possible. Thank you for your patience; we apologise for any inconvenience.” A similar message is also displayed for online shoppers.

Amidst these challenges, a Coles spokesperson has confirmed the purchasing limits and highlighted the supermarket’s collaborative efforts with suppliers. This close partnership is aimed at keeping the shelves stocked and providing support to the industry in responding to the avian flu cases in Victoria, instilling confidence in the supermarket’s ability to manage the situation.

Currently, Woolworths and Aldi have not imposed any purchasing limits. It is reported that only one of the affected farms supplies eggs to several Woolworths stores.

As of June 7, the highly infectious H7N3 and H7N9 strains of avian flu have been detected at five poultry farms across Victoria, including four properties in Meredith and one near Terang. This outbreak may result in the culling of up to 600,000 chickens, significantly straining the supply chain. 

The affected sites are under lockdown, with movement restrictions to contain the spread. Agriculture Victoria noted that the recent detection was anticipated and emphasised that their precautionary measures effectively control the disease’s spread. 

The bird flu primarily affects domestic poultry such as chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, guinea fowl, quail, pheasants, emus, and ostriches, though all bird species can contract the virus.

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