Concerned there may be a meat shortage?

There is news coverage of meat processing plants being closed due to coronavirus infection among workers, causing concern there may be shortages in grocery stores.

  • Although less meat is being processed today because of lower production, care in purchasing will help minimize shortages. Consumers should buy no more than 2 weeks of meat products at a time to keep these products available to all that need them.
  • There is no evidence that meat products are contaminated with virus or causing illness among consumers. As always, make sure you cook meat safely.
  • Meat (beef, pork and poultry) is a good source of protein, and contains important vitamins and minerals.
  • Most Americans eat enough protein, and many rely on meat for their protein. When preparing meals, considering 2 oz per person (4-6 oz per day) as a target.  When choosing meat products, try to limit processed meats (hot dogs, sausage, lunch meats) and select leaner cuts of meat.
  • You can extend your meat by using it in mixed dishes such as spaghetti with meat sauce, chicken casserole, or pork carnitas.

There are other food sources of protein that are also important for a healthy diet.  Compared to recommendations for these protein foods, most people do not eat enough seafood or legumes (lentils, beans and dried peas).  Other healthy protein choices include dairy (milk and yogurt), eggs, soy products, and nuts and seeds.  Here are ideas for including more of these foods in your diet:

  • Use a yogurt sauce to top a lentil dish.
  • Have “Breakfast for Dinner” with a vegetable egg scramble, turkey sausage and a fruit cup.
  • Canned salmon or tuna can be made into salads, patties or casseroles.
  • Top yogurt, salads or vegetable dishes with nuts or seeds.

If you include a variety of protein foods in your diet, and include protein at all meals, you should be able to stay healthy even if a temporary shortage of meat comes to pass.

This article was posted in Blog.