Could meat plant shutdowns raise the price of meat? Rockford butchers say, ‘don’t panic’

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Several US slaughterhouses and meat processors, such as Rochelle’s Hormel Foods, have been forced to shut down production due to coronavirus, and that means millions of pounds of food are no longer in the supply chain.

Experts say that could affect the price of meat in the supermarket.

Woodmans Food Market, at 3155 McFarland Rd, says it hasn’t seen a price jump, but says its suppliers are offering fewer choices.

Smaller butchers, like Pinnon’s Foods, at 2324 N Court St, says they’re seeing an increase in foot traffic, with lines out the door.

Pinnon’s owner, Tom Baker, says there’s no reason to panic.

“There’s plenty (of farm animals) walking around. In a couple week’s time, all the companies are going to start killing and processing again. Our inventories will increase. We won’t have any issues,” he said.

The US Department of Agriculture is also taking action. As part of the COVID-19 “CARES Act,” the agency will purchase $3 billion worth of produce, dairy and meat from American farmers.

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