There is currently a shortage of kosher meat in Europe due to the closing of a meat processing plant in Ireland, Chareidim10 reported.
Motti Gershon, the owner of the Shefa Mehadrin chain stores in London and Manchester, who supplies meat to Europe, told Chareidim10: “There’s a beef shortage. Our main shechita takes place at a plant in Ireland and we stopped the shechita there before Pesach.”
“Normally we distribute the beef that is shechted in the plant in Ireland to all of England and France. Right now we’re doing only local shechita in England and France, which is very difficult because we’re working in small places.”
“There’s no shortage of chicken or lamb since we always use local shechita for those, the issue is only with beef. But in England, at least for right now, we have enough beef.”
Gershon explained that the meat processing plant in Ireland was closed for several reasons. First of all, many employees contracted the virus or were forced to quarantine. Also, normally the hindquarters of the cows and the meat that is deemed treif are sold to non-kosher restaurants and caterers but that hasn’t been possible since they were all closed due to the lockdown.
Furthermore, any shochtim that would potentially arrive in Ireland to work would be forced to first quarantine for 14 days and would also not be able to return home for an extended period of time.
“Due to this the shechita was stopped,” Gershon said. “It’s enough that one worker contracted the coronavirus and all the workers in his vicinity had to enter quarantine for two weeks. This didn’t happen just once but several times.”
“We reached a point where we were lacking 200 workers at the plant. Several workers caught the virus and each one caused 40 workers to go into quarantine. Eventually, instead of the plant being open for five days a week, it was open only three mornings a week and eventually we closed it completely.”