Photo Credit: Rachael Cerrotti/Flash90
An Israeli family's free-range chicken coop.

Israelis are uneasy due to the egg shortage across the country, despite reports of shipments of 5.6 million eggs from Spain, Portugal and Ukraine which have landed at Ashdod port. And so, on Sunday morning, when a rumor circulated around Rishon LeTsiyon about shop that was selling egg, within minutes dozens of locals gathered around the place, all eager to consume this precious product which had all but vanished from the supermarket shelves everywhere.

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The crowd got so big, the Rishon LeTsiyon municipality’s security inspectors dropped whatever else they had been doing and rushed to disperse the crowd gathered outside the store in clear violation of the Health Ministry’s guidelines regarding the coronavirus pandemic. The crowd finally walked away reluctantly when the inspectors threatened to shutter the store.

Faced with an egg shortage ahead of the upcoming Passover holiday (Wednesday evening) and the resulting shoppers’ panic in these somber times, the Israeli government on Monday flew in one million eggs from Portugal, according to a Calcalist report. The shipment was loaded on two direct El Al flights which were hired by M. Lasser, the country’s largest egg distributor. The Israeli government picked up 85% of the $300,000 cost of the two flights, with M. Lasser paying the balance.

M. Lasser’s new egg delivery trucks

The distributor promised the eggs would be delivered to stores before or on Wednesday. In March alone, the company shipped 50 million eggs to stores in Israel, and expects to ship 13 million more this week.

M. Lasser CEO Mickey Lesser told Calcalist: “The quantities of eggs marketed necessarily indicate an increase in per capita consumption of eggs during this period, against the background of the coronavirus crisis. Demand is higher than on any other Passover I remember, and the amount of eggs we marketed in the last month is significantly higher than our normal market share.”

Dr. Ella Sklan, a clinical microbiologist and immunologist from Tel Aviv University, explained to News 12 viewers that there’s no danger in consuming eggs from countries plagued by the coronavirus, because the virus survives on open surfaces for about 72 hours, and it takes the shipped eggs more time than that to reach Israel from the various plants.

She said nothing about the alarming rise in cholesterol levels Israelis are bound to face on their next checkup.

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