Another bird flu casualty: Rita's pulls frozen custard

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The latest casualty of bird flu? Frozen custard.

The summer treat made with eggs is being pulled from Rita's stores across the country due to an egg shortage. It's being replaced by soft-serve ice cream.

The H5N2 avian flu virus began showing up in Midwest farms this spring. More than 48 million turkeys and chickens have died or were euthanized to prevent the virus from spreading.

Nationwide egg production in May dropped 5 percent from last year, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department.

Rita's says frozen custard will return to the menu when it can ensure a sustainable supply of eggs.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia-area company says its 600 stores will continue selling Italian ice and substitute soft-serve ice cream for all products that normally contain custard.