It’s the time of year when people buy a lot of holiday hams, and some pork products are getting stretched thinner.
The Wall Street Journal says it’s due in part to COVID-19 precautions challenging meatpacker workforces to keep up with demand. Some meat suppliers are placing limits on how much pork supermarkets can order, leading to less variety and fewer pork promotions in the days ahead of Christmas.
COVID has led to some of the larger processors like Smithfield Foods and JBS providing paid leave for workers who are considered higher risk because of pre-existing conditions or their older age demographic.
Some meat companies have hired extra workers to help offset the absences. In another concession to COVID-19 worries, some of the meat plants are spacing workers farther apart, which has slowed the processing speeds in their operations.
Grocery companies report that bacon, dinner sausages, and lunch meat have also been in tighter supply during the holidays.