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Another run on meat?

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    Another run on meat?

    Well, I braved the corona virus to make a trip to Sam's Club, and apparently there was another run on meat that I didn't know about.

    Yesterday afternoon my 78 year old folks were there (with masks and social distancing), and all meat counters fully stocked. Today at noon when I ran up there, the meat counters were pretty much bare. I came away with a pack of bone-in chicken thighs (limit 1 chicken item per person, and that was ALL they had), and a small pack of 6 center cut pork chops. There were two very poor examples of boston butts, a couple of packs of pork shoulder steaks, and some 90/10 hamburger meat. That and the chicken thighs and some salmon was about it in the entire meat department.

    When the COVID-19 scare first started it was like this. Several weeks ago I went to Sam's and everything was fully stocked, but limits of 3 of any one item - I came away with 2 butts, which have now been consumed.

    Today's email on specials at The Fresh Market, where they have a weekly Tuesday special on ground chuck and boneless skinless breasts, indicates they are limiting you to 3 pounds of meat on a purchase due to a reduction in their meat supply.

    Am I seeing the effect of the meat processors being shut down, or is this more of the TP hoarding effect?

    #2
    Tyson took out some full page ad in a newspaper saying that store shelves will be void of meat because the supply chain has been interrupted. Then larger news outlets started publishing stories about the Tyson ad and amplifying the message. Millions of people read yesterday that soon store shelves would be void of meat, so I expected another panic buy. I wouldn't be surprised if the Tyson ad and this are related.

    Comment


    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      Ok, so folks cleared it out last night, after my parents were there at 2pm apparently.

    • Troutman
      Troutman commented
      Editing a comment
      News tonight said pork production is down 20%, worse beef down 33%. That’s concerning. Trump announced he is declaring these businesses as necessary and demands they re-engage. It’s gonna be interesting to see the end results.

    • Mr. Bones
      Mr. Bones commented
      Editing a comment
      This mornin's local (KCMO) station spread th same panic; mentioned 3 HUGE beef plants here in th Territory was either closed, or greatly shut down, due to infections in th workforce. They mentioned these 3 processors provide 25% of th US beef. I just took an opportunity to partially refill th voids in my deep freeze, an icebox... third time I been to th stores in 6 weeks, Folks are gonna go more loco that th TP thang, I'd haveta guess...
      Last edited by Mr. Bones; April 29, 2020, 08:15 PM.

    #3
    Yeah, I think right now it's hoarding/preparing because people in the meat industry have warned the supply chain is breaking down. Next, there will probably be the effect of the actual shortage of processing capabilities. I plan to top off my freezers.

    Comment


      #4
      Recent news has been pointing to a meat shortage as more processing plants are closing because of large numbers of employees being infected by Covid-19. I saw a head line today that said the President was ordering them to stay open. I am not sure how you do that with so many employees sick.

      Comment


        #5
        Well, thankfully, I've still got a number of steaks, a 5-6 pound prime rib, a pork belly and a few boneless skinless chicken breasts in the freezer. We won't starve in the next couple of weeks anyway. I might sneak out to Walmart this evening and see if they have any frozen chicken at least, to add to the freezer.

        I was really looking for a two pack of chuck roasts, as I wanted some smoked and pulled chuck, after seeing someone's post recently of a bread-less Philly Cheese steak made with pulled chuck...

        Comment


        #6
        I was at Costco this morning to top off my freezer after all the news reports about supply chain issues. I guess I am a hoarder. The meat counters were pretty picked over. No fresh chicken of any kind, very limited selection and quantities of all other meats. I scored a couple two packs of pork tenderloin, and a package of 8 lamb loin chops, (The last one) and some of their jumbo hot dogs. That’s it. But I’m well stocked for now. The smoker will keep on running!

        Comment


        • HawkerXP
          HawkerXP commented
          Editing a comment
          Same here in Va. No chicken. Had lamb chops tonight and tenderloins in freezer.

        #7
        I heard on the news we should expect less variety but hopefully not completely exhausted supplies. We will see.

        Comment


          #8
          Our local Walmart has a dedicated senior shopping time. Tuesday morning from 6 am to 7 am is the window for us high mileage folks. Today was the first time I've taken advantage of it. I got there about 6:30 am and was asked if I was over 60 as I approached the door. Do you know what an unbelievably wonderful moment it is when some poor nearsighted child asks if you're over 60? Anyway I was let right in. I was pleasantly surprised to find I had several racks of Smithfield ribs to choose from, there were baby backs, St. Louis, and spares too, there were probably 7 or 8 of each. I was able to get 10 lbs of hamburger, a huge tray of boneless chicken thighs, some bratwurst, Tyson breaded chicken strips, Ballpark beef franks, and a big bag of shredded cheddar cheese. As I neared the front to checkout there was a huge stack of TP, there were 8 rolls per package and a limit of 1 per customer, but that's not bad. I noticed a few people lining up outside as I was leaving, evidently right after senior hour is a good time to shop. After all I've read I was pleasantly surprised at what I found.

          Comment


            #9
            Ground beef 80/20 has gone up to $4.29/lb in my local store. Ground sirloin $4.79. Premium ground beef always was expensive but now the cheaper stuff has risen to nearly match it. I hate to say it, but I feel like my local grocery store is taking advantage, there've been zero sales in the last month and there's usually always sales running on cheese, cereal, meat, the usual. Nothing lately, in fact prices have gone up.

            Comment


            • HawkerXP
              HawkerXP commented
              Editing a comment
              I was told at Safeway and Home Depot, no sales. Sales would bring people out unnecessarily to get that mulch on sale.

            • Huskee
              Huskee commented
              Editing a comment
              HawkerXP Yeah I half believe that, for certain stores anyway. The other half of me says they know people obviously need groceries and can't stop buying them regardless.

            • bardsleyque
              bardsleyque commented
              Editing a comment
              at the QFC (kroger) that I work at we have two fer's on pork shoulder and chuckies.

            #10
            every where around here has limited folks to 2 meat items per family... of course people are going to car then right back in store, but most are abiding by the rules

            Comment


              #11
              Meat and Pepcid AC! I have reflux and as soon as I heard yesterday that Pepcid AC was in trials for virus relief I ran to the store and got some cause I knew it would vanish ......and it did today

              crazy out there! I need to check the butcher tomorrow........if meat is gonna be scarce I will buy a few just to stay ahead of it

              Comment


              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                Crap, I am almost out of Pepcid myself, and take it nightly for reflux that causes me to have a dry cough if untreated.

              • Steve R.
                Steve R. commented
                Editing a comment
                jfmorris, going around with a dry cough for any reason right now would be terrible. On the other hand, maybe people would actually keep their distance from you in public.

              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                I went to the neighborhood Walmart tonight right before they closed, and got the LAST box of Pepcid AC they had. I'm set for 30 days.

              #12
              There was a post on the web that Trump was going to use one of his war power acts to get the slaughter houses back open.

              Comment


                #13
                From the WaPo. Because it's coronavirus related, I think access is free. If not, I'm breaking copyright law, but, hey, consider it a PSA in a national emergency. I also saw a piece yesterday discussing the euthanizing of 2M chickens with "no place to go".

                President Trump is expected to sign an executive order compelling meat processors to remain open to head off shortages in the nation’s food supply chains, according to one person familiar with the coming action, despite mounting reports of plant worker deaths due to covid-19.
                Trump will invoke the Defense Production Act, which will classify meat plants as essential infrastructure that must remain open, said the person, who was not authorized to disclose details of the order. The government will provide additional protective gear for employees as well as guidance, according to the person.
                Trump was expected to sign the order, first reported by Bloomberg, as early as Tuesday.
                As they rushed to maintain U.S. meat supply, big processors saw plants become covid-19 hot spots, worker illnesses spike
                Trump alluded to the plan Tuesday during an Oval Office meeting with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). “We’re going to sign an executive order today, I believe,” Trump said. “It was a very unique circumstance because of liability.” He did not elaborate.
                Such an order would prevent meat companies from using the most effective weapon available to protect their employees from the coronavirus — closures.
                [IMG]file:///C:/Users/William/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.jpg[/IMG]The Tyson Foods plant in Waterloo, Iowa, shown Monday, is among meat processing plants that have suspended operations. (Jeff Reinitz/Courier/AP)
                At least 20 meatpacking plants have closed in recent weeks because of covid-19 outbreaks, according to an analysis by The Washington Post. The United Food and Commercial Workers, which represents thousands of workers at U.S. meat plants, said Tuesday that at least 17 have died of covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and at least 5,000 have been directly affected by the virus.
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                Sign up for our Coronavirus Updates newsletter to track the outbreak. All stories linked in the newsletter are free to access.
                “America’s meatpacking workers and our nation’s food supply are in greater danger every day that companies and leaders fail to act during this outbreak,” UFCW President Marc Perrone said in a news release. “It is clear that our food supply chain is threatened, and that is why our country’s elected and corporate leaders must act now.”
                Industry analysts say pork and beef processing has fallen 25 percent because of these outbreaks. Major meat companies, including Tyson Foods, Smithfield Foods and JBS USA, have repeatedly touted their essential role in the nation’s food supply chain, often resisting calls from government officials and labor advocates to close their facilities due to outbreaks.
                As they rushed to maintain supply, meat plants became covid-19 hotspots
                “The food supply chain is breaking,” John H. Tyson, chairman of Tyson’s executive board, wrote in a full-page newspaper ad published Sunday in The Washington Post, the New York Times and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
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                “We have a responsibility to feed our country. It is as essential as health care. This is a challenge that should not be ignored. Our plants must remain operational so that we can supply food to our families in America.”
                On Tuesday, a Tyson spokesman said the company had not seen the president’s order and therefore was not in a position to comment. He added that Tyson’s “top priority remains the safety of our team members and plant communities while we work to continue fulfilling our role of feeding families across the country.” Representatives from Smithfield and JBS did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday evening.
                Many workers say the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and companies have not done enough to protect them from fast-spreading outbreaks that have hobbled production and devastated rural communities in which they are based. Some workers say companies put production over their safety and have failed to provide adequate protective gear and promote social distancing.
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                On Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and OSHA released interim guidance for meatpacking and processing facilities. It outlined procedures for cleaning shared equipment and reconfiguring workstations. It also included information on how companies can use physical barriers to put at least six feet between employees, who typically stand shoulder to shoulder in the plants.
                It also called for the use of personal protective equipment and revising attendance policies to ensure employees aren’t penalized for taking sick leave due to the coronavirus. But like previous CDC and OSHA guidance for workplaces during the pandemic, it is voluntary and not enforceable.
                “These outbreaks that have sickened thousands and killed dozens were not inevitable in the meat industry,” said Debbie Berkowitz, a former senior OSHA official who is an expert on meat processing plants. “If OSHA had started enforcement, employers like the meatpacking industry who don’t prioritize safety voluntarily would have implemented the CDC guidance and prevented these outbreaks of death and disease in meatpacking.”
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                In one month, the meat industry’s supply chain broke. Here’s what you need to know.
                “Workers in the American food industry are vital to us all, but the terrible working conditions that already existed in that industry have only been exacerbated by the covid-19 virus,” sad Jason Walsh, executive director of the Blue Green Alliance, a coalition of labor and environmental groups. “Donald Trump is finally using the Defense Production Act, but not to ensure that American manufacturers produce the protective equipment that essential workers so desperately need to be safe. Instead, Trump is using the DPA to try to force workers back on the job in unsafe conditions. It doesn’t get more wrong than that.”
                Berkowitz said Trump’s decision will undercut local health officials’ power to make meat plants comply with newly issued federal guidance that would have limited workers’ coronavirus exposure.
                “The president has just undermined all efforts to stop the spread of the disease in plants,” Berkowitz said. “He is essentially saying they must be allowed to operate and that there should be no specific requirements plants must follow to stop the spread of this disease.”
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                Trump’s order would render meaningless the guidance the CDC issued Sunday, including keeping individual workspaces 6 feet apart and ensuring plant employees are not facing each another.
                “Without putting in specific safety requirements — beyond masks — the disease will continue to spread through the plants and into the community,” said Berkowitz.
                But the courts and the Department of Justice have ruled that the Defense Production Act, “doesn’t give the President or anyone else the authority to grant broad immunity from other federal requirements, or from state laws,” said Adam R. Pulver, an attorney with Public Citizen who litigates claims about the scope of government authority.
                Legal experts say there are serious questions about whether the legislation Trump cited authorizes the president to grant broad immunity to businesses from workplace, environmental and other safety protections, nor is it clear whether Trump can order a shuttered manufacturing plant to reopen.
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                “The immunity applies when companies are sued for things they had to do in order to comply with the Defense Production Act,” Pulver said, “but not for choices they made in refusing to comply with other legal obligations.”
                For example, he said, plants would not be granted immunity if they refused to comply with local health officials’ orders to provide protective gear or did not take steps to allow for social distancing.
                Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.) called Trump’s order “profoundly disturbing” in a statement and called on the White House to harness the DPA for the manufacture of PPE.
                “If President Trump orders people to work in meat processing plants but refuses to protect their health and safety,” Scott said, “the result will be more preventable illnesses, the tragic deaths of workers across the country, and ultimately, an actual reduction in food production as meat processing plants run out of healthy workers.”
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                A Smithfield worker in Missouri is suing the company in federal court for failing to take action to protect employees, including altering operations to permit social distancing and providing personal protective equipment, and discouraging employees from staying home while ill. A preliminary hearing has been set for later this week in the lawsuit, which does not identify the worker who filed it. A judge has ordered Smithfield to comply with CDC and OSHA guidelines in the interim.
                A union leader representing 3,400 workers at a JBS beef plant in Colorado where five workers have died said she fears working conditions that contributed to the spread of covid-19 among workers will worsen.
                “If these meat plants can’t be held liable, there is no reason for them to take measures to ensure workers are safe,” said Kim Cordova, president for workers at the plant in Greeley, Colo. “If workers stop showing up, what are they going to do? Enact a draft? This is insane. If these workers are essential, protect them. They are treating workers like fungible widgets instead of human beings.”

                Jerod Broussard
                Last edited by Willy; April 28, 2020, 04:55 PM.

                Comment


                  #14
                  Sharing info and discussion is good, letting it become political is not good. No one has yet, so let's please make sure we don't.

                  Comment


                    #15
                    Shows how dependant everyone has become on these big comercial operations. People could just go out and buy a whole pig to take home. Have a friend who owns to small butcherys in Wisconsin and has never been busier!
                    Plenty of meat here in Argentina, but noodles were limited to 2 packs at the supermarket last week.
                    Attached Files

                    Comment


                    • Attjack
                      Attjack commented
                      Editing a comment
                      My sister is raising my next pig for me. If you can go that route it's the way to go. I also attempt to buy most of my meat locally.

                    • ComfortablyNumb
                      ComfortablyNumb commented
                      Editing a comment
                      My sentiments exactly. The problem is in the industrial plants. There are custom meat cutters all over the nation, and the growers are going to be stuck with stock they can't move but have to feed. Find a local producer and a local custom cutter for beef and pork. Chickens can be generally be prepped by the producer, depending on local regulations you might have to take them whole and bag them yourself.

                    • N227GB
                      N227GB commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I used to frequent a ranch near my place in Ohio that raised bison. Good stuff, but expensive!

                      https://www.thebisonranch.farm/

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