Could meat shortages be on the horizon if Congress fails to pass a budget deal?

Food and Fun

POSTED: Monday, February 18, 2013 - 5:45pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 11:26am

It appears meat prices at your local store could soon be on the rise.

The White House warns there could be a potential shortage if thousands of meat inspectors are ordered off the job.

This has to do with the impending budget cuts in Washington. If the sequester begins March 1st, the White House says USDA inspectors could be furloughed for up to 15 days, forcing plants to shutdown, limiting supply and raising prices.

"I don't see how they could possibly do a 15 day in a row because there's a lot of meat products that you have to do something with," said Dean Dewig, owner of Dewig Meats.

It's a typical Tuesday inside Dewig Meats in Haubstadt.

"This is our slowest time of the year right now. January and February are our slowest months. I guess everybody got done eating after Christmas and they're still trying to recover and lose a few pounds," Dewig said.

Dewig says for 16 hours, five days a week, two meat inspectors are on hand to give his products their seal of approval.

Without them, there would be no reason to keep his knives sharp.

"We have to have an inspector here to do our processing in back. If we don't have inspection we're not going to be working, so I don't need the employees here," Dewig said.


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