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How did the epidemic cause a shortage of chickens in America

How did the epidemic cause a shortage of chickens in America

Reuters / Dane Rees

What happened to toilet paper at the start of the pandemic appears to be happening now to Americans’ favorite meat: chicken.

Supermarkets and restaurant chains containing their main ingredients started reporting a shortage of chicken wings, but it has now spread to birds in general..

The deficit in the poultry industry was reported by the professional press and the general public was starting to take notice. Fast food chains have run out of some of the most popular sandwiches, including fried chicken, a Southern dish that has won over 50 states..

The craving for fried chicken in bread is not closely related to the epidemic, but the lockdown by COVID-19 appears to have increased the flavor of this food. In 2019, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) chain released a new fried chicken sandwich that went viral on social media and led people to line up to reach their point of sale within two weeks.

With the arrival of the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, Kentucky in addition to other chains, such as Popeye’s or Chick-fil-A, They reported record numbers for home orders from their chicken plate. Even McDonald’s, famous for its beef burgers, is reporting a spike in sales of their chicken sandwiches.

One person cooks fried chicken in the US.  REUTERS / Rory Doyle
One person cooks fried chicken in the US. REUTERS / Rory Doyle

But it is not just the increasing consumption of Americans that has led to a shortage of this meat. The pandemic has affected this industry as much as it has affected others. According to the Food and Environment Reporting Network, 60,000 poultry industry employees have contracted the Covid-19 virus in recent months and 291 have died from the virus.

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Working conditions in Chicken processing plants usually do not guarantee social distance, which many people have to adjust by reducing the number of workers they have in order to ensure a distance of at least two meters between each one.. This delays production.

The poultry industry is particularly strong in the United States, and it was one of the first industries considered essential. According to him Washington PostThe Trump administration originally allowed 15 chicken processing plants to expand production at the start of the pandemic to meet demand. This resulted in a lack of respect for the rules of COVID care and an increase in infections. Since then, the number of workers in the factories has decreased.

To complete the perfect storm in the south of the country The region with the highest poultry production was affected by lower temperatures in late winter, which affected the production and distribution chain. Unusual snowfall in Texas has severely complicated the industry, and the consequences are looming today.

Getting a fried chicken sandwich now in America can be tough, but if fourteen months ago toilet paper knew anything, don’t despair. This deficiency is momentary.

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