For weeks now we have been hearing about a possible meat shortage, and we may be seeing some signs of that in Grand Junction.

This photo was captured at the Burger King on First Street in Grand Junction.

We are currently unable to serve ham due to a supply shortage. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.  - Management

Back in late March, people were panic buying meat - which led to a "shortage" in Grand Junction. I remember going to the grocery store and finding the meat cases bare - beef, poultry, pork, turkey -  it was pretty slim pickings. There wasn't an actual meat shortage, it was just a matter of panic-buying creating an immediate supply problem.

However, the coronavirus pandemic has created some issues across the country in regards to food distribution with many meat processing plants being closed because of COVID-19 outbreaks. Nationwide dining restrictions throughout the nation have resulted in decreased demand, which is also a problem.

According to SW News Media, because of plant closures and slow-downs in late April  there was no market for 45% of the hogs that normally would have been processed at that time.  Ag Week says slaughter capacity dropped by more than 40%, causing thousands of hogs to be euthanized.

While the nation is gradually opening up and slowly returning to normal, there has been a bottleneck at processing plants, according to Ag Week. There has been a domino effect on various levels that has caused some issues in the food supply chain.

Remember a few weeks ago when some Wendy's restaurants in Grand Junction were unable to serve hamburgers because they had no beef?  The problem was short-lived, and, regardless of what has led to this Burger King restaurant being unable to serve ham, the problem is not likely to last long.

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