This Ongoing Shortage Might Drastically Change Your Summer BBQ Plans

Fourth of July just feels off without enjoying some hot dogs fresh off the grill. According to RAL Today, Americans eat 150 million hot dogs every Independence Day, making them a top patriotic dish to enjoy with friends and family. While we can't imagine a grilling celebration without this iconic sausage, our chances to indulge in this type of meat seems bleaker this summer. Pork hasn't done so well over the course of the pandemic. Back in the earlier stages of lockdown, Tyson had to shut down their pork processing plant due to an outbreak of COVID-19 among factory workers, destabilizing the supply of meat (via Washington Post). 

This closure caused a ripple effect, threatening pork farmers across the country, and we can still feel the ramifications of this loss in 2021 (via Financial Post). Almost a full year from the start date of the pandemic, the pork industry still needs to recover. Due to the lack of pork processing caused by the closure of the Tyson plant, pig farmers had to decide if they needed to slaughter and discard millions of pigs to keep prices on their product high (via Business Insider). This decision has caught up with us, and now we might not have hot dogs for Fourth of July.

A hard year for pork lovers

As a result of these losses, finding bacon and hot dogs should prove harder than years past, especially as we start gearing up to grill. According Business Insider, while many of us plan to get vaccinated by Independence Day, our celebrations might lack some integral menu items. The lower pork production and the after effects of a swine disease that knocked out a portion of the nation's pork supplies this winter, have caused pork prices to increase amid greater scarcity of our favorite hog products. The supply chain continues to feel the impacts of COVID, and we shouldn't expect things to get better anytime soon. 

While we shouldn't plan to pick up any bargain deals on our next hot dog purchase, we can look forward to grocery chains spreading the love elsewhere, as they try to make a profit on other goods they have in stock. With any luck, we might just see some new culinary traditions for Fourth of July emerge this year, as we make do with less hot dogs. So, if you count yourself as a pork lover, make sure to get a move on and snap up any savings while you still can. Once summer rolls around and we start grilling, finding some great values might prove harder than ever.