Consumers could see less selection and higher prices at the meat counter, the Associated Press reports. The coronavirus has slowed or stalled some production, meaning millions of pounds of meat may not enter the supply chain, companies say.
While plants around the country are shutting down or slowing production, pork plants in the Midwest have been hit hardest by COVID-19. With 15 plants accounting for 60% of all pork processed, two or three closures can cause a large ripple in the supply chain.
To help with price and supply chain issues, the U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat.
Despite all this, experts predict that meat will not disappear from shelves completely.
“You might not get your exact variety that you want or the exact type you want, but there’s been food available if you have the money to buy it,” Jayson Lusk, an economist at Purdue University, told the Associated Press