The Beef In The Meat Case
Kentucky’s 38,000 beef farmers contribute to every aspect of the beef industry and represent the largest beef producing state East of the Mississippi River. Despite the current challenges, beef farmers continue to raise and care for their cattle during this crisis.
Now, more than ever we are staying connected with not only where our food comes from, but the supply chain it must pass through to reach us. Each step in the beef supply chain is critical in producing the high-quality beef we enjoy by ensuring our beef is USDA-inspected, properly packaged and handled safely.
While there is not a nationwide shortage of beef at this time, we can expect there may be reductions in availability of some beef cuts in your local grocery store. However, local supply chain partners are working to continue to restock shelves and ensure customers have the opportunity to buy beef.
The Kentucky Beef Council stated this shortage is not a lack of cattle, but a bottle neck in the supply chain. In an effort to protect workers and mitigate risk associated with Covid-19, some beef processing facilities across the country have made the difficult decision to close temporarily, or reduce their labor force to smaller crews. This has resulted in a slowing of the beef processing system and a short-term reduction in processing capacity. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is reporting processing plants are working at 50-75 percent of their normal capacity. With any supply chain, if there is a disruption, we can expect to see impacts in the supply of the finished product. This state of the beef industry is temporary, with full anticipation of when possible, returning to normal capacity.
While you should continue to follow your normal purchasing habits, if you do find yourself with an excess of beef, we have compiled some great resources to help reduce food waste, stretch your dollar and spice up family dinners:
Proper packaging of beef and following proper refrigerator thawing guidelines can reduce food waste and ensure quality.
Creating multiple meals that are full of protein, will please your family and use those left overs, just got easier.
Many recipes allow for flexibility in interchanging different beef cuts, especially those that may be more accessible at this time.
May is Beef Month and what better way to celebrate than with Kentucky themed recipes created by Kentuckians.
You can find additional recipes and cooking tips on the
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Director of Consumer Affairs