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Summer drought expected to put dent in pork supplies, sparking bacon shortage

POSTED: Thursday, September 27, 2012 - 8:00am

UPDATED: Thursday, September 27, 2012 - 8:00am

At Lester's Diner in Fort Lauderdale, Florida pig products are prime.

"You can't run a diner without bacon," says Dan McConnell, who manages Lester's. "People like their ham and eggs, bacon and eggs."

McConnell figures his staff serves up 300-400 pounds of bacon a week, not counting, ham, pork, and sausage.

According to the National Pig Association in Britain, drought conditions this year have led to less feed and herds declining, meaning "a world shortage of pork and bacon next year is now unavoidable."

McConnell said he's already been bracing for a pot belly pig price increase.

It happened when McConnell called his purveyor Tuesday morning to order a case of bacon.

A fifteen pound case went "up to $55," he said.

It was $32 per case when he last placed an order, about two weeks ago.

"We're really feeling the pinch," said McConnell, who noted he hasn't raised prices, but says restaurants like his may be forced to charge a surtax for ham, pork, bacon and sausage.

McConnell says he may need to find another supplier, but his customers will still satisfy their bacon cravings.

Sitting at the breakfast bar Tuesday, sausage lover Cliff Berry said when it comes to breakfast meats, he's "gotta have it."

"Price don't matter at my age," he said. "I'm 82-years-old, I can have what I want."

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