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Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Avian flu leads to turkey deli meat shortage, stores say
The avian influenza outbreak of 2015 has created a shortage of turkey deli meat, say representatives of several grocery chains with deli operations.
In Dubuque, Iowa, Hy-Vee, Fareway and Eagle Country Market stores have all had to deal with shortages, and in some cases have completely ran out of the turkey products, reported THOnline.
Ryan Halverson, assistant market manager at Fareway in Dubuque, said his store recently spent nearly a week with no deli turkey. It was the first time in his 18-year career he has witnessed such a shortage. Hy-Vee representative Jim Carney said his company has experienced a shortage of turkey deli meat for the past three or four weeks.
Both store chains identified Hormel Foods, parent company of Jennie-O Turkey Store as a supplier. Jennie-O Turkey Store in April announced that some of its farms had been hit by avian influenza, and in May, revealed that it was laying off workers at its turkey plant in Faribault, Minnesota, because of a bird shortage brought on by the virus.
The National Turkey Federation estimates that about 3 percent of the nation’s turkey supply was lost as a result of avian influenza.
The avian influenza outbreak’s impact on turkey supplies have also affected sandwich restaurant chain Jimmy John’s, which in July discontinued sales of turkey sandwiches at some locations because of a shortage in the supply chain caused by avian influenza.