LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — If you’ve been to the grocery store lately, you may have seen some restrictions on meat. Closures and illnesses at meat processing plants are putting stress on the nation’s food supply.
8 News Now looked into what this means for butcher shops across the Valley.
While the shelves are stocked at Larry’s Great Western Meats on Valley View and Alta, they are experiencing about a 50 to 60% shortage on the items they’re ordering.
Elie Khoury, president of Great Western Meats, told us they have distributors for beef, chicken and pork.
One of the processing companies, JBS, made headlines last month after it had to close some locations due to workers testing positive for COVID-19.
“We’re lucky our distributor is not shut down, at least the plant we’re ordering from,” said Khoury. “Other vendors, yes, they’re not able to sell us anything.”
8 News Now also reached out to The Butcher Block, where they’re having some problems getting certain meats, specifically brisket and hanger steak.
The store is stocked on popular items such as chicken, chuck roast and ground beef, but it doesn’t know how long it will last if the restrictions keep going.
While both stores are having some supply challenges, they told us they’re also seeing an increase in demand from customers.
“Any kinds of proteins. Meats, chickens, beef. Whatever they can get their hand on,” said Khoury.
We also reached out to grocery stores such as Walmart, Costco, Smith’s and Albertsons on how their meat supply is being impacted.
Walmart said it’s working through its supply chain to replenish items.
Costco is temporarily putting a three-item limit on fresh beef, pork and poultry.
Smith’s said there is plenty of protein in the supply chain, but some processors are experiencing challenges. They’ve put limits on fresh pork and chicken.
Albertsons could not provide any information.
In an effort to keep meat processing plants open, President Trump signed an executive order last week designating them as “critical infrastructure.” This protects the facilities from being shut down by state regulators.