HOUSTON – Meat packing plants across the country have slowed down production or have shut down temporarily because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The decline in production is causing growing concerns over possible shortages, forcing President Donald Trump to step in and sign an executive order last week requiring meat processing plants to stay open to prevent shortages.
The Farmers Fresh Meat Market in Houston’s Sunnyside neighborhood said the issue has caused a 20 to 25 percent price hike on several different types of meat.
“The price has been going up on beef, chicken and pork and a lot of different items across the board but the good thing is we do a lot of processing in house which cuts out the middle man. so that’s able to keep our cost a lot lower,” said Farmers Fresh Meat owner, Nader Abdallah.
Hebert’s Specialty Meats said they have been preparing for a shortage.
“We are bringing in some extra meat right now just so we have it in stock,” said Scot Catlett, the owner of Hebert’s Specialty Meats.
Chain grocery stores like H-E-B and Kroger were also taking precautions by limiting customers to prevent empty shelves.
Kroger released the following written statement:
At Kroger, we feel good about our ability to maintain a broad assortment of meat and seafood for our customers because we purchase protein from a diverse network of suppliers. There is plenty of protein in the supply chain; however, some processors are experiencing challenges. To ensure all customers have access to fresh protein, we have added purchase limits on pork, beef and chicken.