The food supply in the COVID-19 era

Restaurants and school feedings are closed, and consumer habits are changing. Supplies of raw milk greatly exceed retail demand due in large part to the collapse of sit-down dining at restaurants and the closure of schools. The demand for soup in the spring could have a ripple effect later this year, said Mike Duffy, CEO of C&S Wholesale Grocers. Much of the industry’s focus right now is on ensuring the continuous supply of fresh meat, particularly after several plant closings. Workers at meat processing plants are especially at risk of contracting the coronavirus because they’re often positioned close to one another. In other types of food processing facilities, they tend to be more machine operators, so people are not in close proximity. In the poultry industry, a sickened workforce is threatening to create an imbalance between the number of chickens on the farm and the amount processed into meat for sale. Duffy said there’s generally sufficient food in the pipeline, but bare shelves will continue because it takes time for products to wind their way through to stores. @

Meat shortage 2020: Coronavirus has led Smithfield, other plants to close, farmers to dump milk

Is Smithfield pork safe to eat? Why are meat plants shutting down? Here’s why shoppers are struggling to find chicken, meat and eggs amid COVID-19.

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