Avian flu outbreak causes turkey shortage in the midwest


Sliced Smoked Turkey 204 grams = 200 calories (wisegeek.com)

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GREEN COUNTRY, Okla. – Grocery shoppers may have to wait until the fall before they can get their favorite brand of turkey. One grocery store manager said the Avian flu outbreak hit their stock in the midwest and that’s what’s causing the shortage.

Rows of stacked ham are what you’ll find filling the deli shelves now.

“Probably about three facings of the turkey from the Rebud [Farms] there,” Reasor’s manager Tom Fricke said.

An apology sign to customers is now in place of where the turkey used to be.

“It should be late fall before we see everything come back to normal because they are basically having to regrow the turkeys and chickens,” Fricke said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says more than 49 million birds died or were put down across 15 states because of the Avian flu. That problem is trickling down to grocery stores.

When asked what type of meat people buy when they go grocery shopping, the overwhelming answer was turkey.

“I buy turkey, especially for lunch meats,” one customer said.

Shoppers are disappointed about the shortage, but they say they would rather deal with a shortage than hear a recall after they’ve already eaten it.

“Oh, I think it’s a wonderful idea because then they don’t get stuck with somebody being sick and suing them,” another customer said.

The Reasor’s headquarters in Broken Arrow, as well as other locations, are experiencing the same problem.

“Hopefully it doesn’t affect Thanksgiving. Hopefully we can get those turkeys regrown and give everybody a happy Thanksgiving.”

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