SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — At Antonelli’s butcher shop inside San Francisco’s Cal-Mart Supermarket, you’ll find a couple of fresh turkeys and a bit of ground turkey but no turkey parts or turkey breasts.
This turkey shortage is not just here. It’s happening across the country and will definitely impact the number of birds available for Thanksgiving.
“I’ve been told that we’re going to be short around 30% of our order,” said Antonelli’s meat manager Joseph Jinkens. “Normally we do like 700-800 birds, and we’re expecting like maybe 450 or 500.”
While supply chain issues and employee shortages are playing a part in the turkey shortage, the main reason is an outbreak of bird flu. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says has impacted more than 47 million birds — more than 600,000 of which are in California.
“Right now we’re mainly concerned about thanksgiving so we’re trying to keep every bird as healthy as we can right now,” said Bill Mattos who is the president of the California Poultry Federation. “Because the birds are getting very close to being processed, particularly for frozen birds and the fresh season will start in a couple of weeks.”
Mattos says while there will be a shortage of fresh turkeys, there will likely be enough frozen turkeys from out of state to meet demand. Many shoppers were unaware of the turkey shortage and put in their orders once they found out.
This shortage will also mean when you check out, you’ll be paying more for your turkey than you did last year.
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“We saw roughly like a 15% increase this year, which is kind of stark,” Jinkens said. “It’s higher than any year previous.”
The bottom line is whether you’re shopping here at Antonelli’s or somewhere else, if you want to make sure you have that fresh turkey for Thanksgiving, you want to make sure you get your order in right now.