Chicken Could Be in Short Supply, Ministry Warns

YERUSHALAYIM -

Chicken may be in short supply this week, the Agriculture Ministry warned Israelis, with the heaviest shortages likely towards the end of the week, as people shop for Shabbos. The reason for the shortage: a five-day Muslim festival being celebrated this week, which will keep many staff members of slaughterhouses and processing plants off the job.

Arabs constitute much of the staff in slaughterhouses, where they process the birds after they have undergone shechitah. Staff will be out beginning Tuesday, and will return to work only next Sunday. Many slaughterhouses will be closed altogether this week, while others will operate with a skeleton staff.

In any event, the Ministry urged Israelis to go shopping early in the week if they wanted chicken. Prices were likely to rise towards the end of the week, it added. Officials of several supermarkets, including Supersol and Rami Levy, told Yediot Acharonot that they had tried to stock up on chicken in anticipation of this week’s festival, but could not promise that all branches would be fully supplied.