CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A virus never seen before in the United States is causing a severe threat to the nation’s pork production.
The virus was first noticed less than a year ago, and since then, millions of piglets in 27 states have died; causing the price of certain pork products to spike.
Some scientists think that the virus is porcine epidemic diarrhea, which may have come from China. The disease cannot affect other animals or humans, but it is causing a shortage of some of the most popular pork products, such as bacon.
Larry Katz of Arnold’s Meats in Chicopee told 22News that the demand for bacon is also higher right now.
“As far as bacon that is cut from pork belly and pork belly is one of the most expensive parts of pork, and its also one of the most popular items in restaurants right now,” Katz said.
The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the price of bacon currently costs 13% more than it did one year ago.
The experts at Arnold’s Meats also told 22News that the cost of your Easter Ham will not be as severely affected, because your grocer likely ordered the hams when those prices were lower; before this virus hit.
The federal government is still trying to figure out how the virus got into the country, and have committed nearly $2 million to research the disease and how to prevent future outbreaks.