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Country facing national meat shortage amid pandemic, experts say

With dozens of meat processing plants shutting down due to COVID-19, meat supply isn’t getting processed or distributed to retailers.

Posted: Apr 29, 2020 7:39 PM

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- We’re facing a national meat shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to local experts.

With dozens of meat processing plants shutting down because of coronavirus, meat supply isn’t getting processed or distributed to retailers.

“It’s very hard to distance in these processing plants,” said Dina Ribbink, assistant professor of business administration at Oregon State University Cascades. “Which causes a number of issues.”

Tim McClendon, owner of Nickabob’s Meat Market in Roseburg, said his business is booming right now. He said many of his customers are wanting to stock up on meat due to the pandemic.

He said his inventory is very limited because of the lack of meat production.

“Because they’re not slaughtering, that creates less product coming out, which drives the price up, which makes thing hard to get,” said McClendon.

However, Ribbink said there’s no reason to panic. She said there’s no issue with the food supply itself, but it may take time before the industry goes back to normal.

“The farmers still have all the meat available, but we can’t get it to the actual people who can buy it,” said Ribbink.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 42101

Reported Deaths: 653
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