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Bacon Prices Up; Is Your BLT Diseased?

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In a piece of apocalyptic news that rivals the blood moon tetrad, bacon prices are going up. The National Pork Board had to release a press statement about a virus called the “porcine epidemic diarrhea virus” (PEDV) that is killing millions of pigs. As Galen Velonis reported, the virus thrived right through the winter and shows little sign of stopping.

The Pork Board is trying to calm fears about the virus, and with good reason. It’s bad enough to have a problem that is decimating your supply, jacking up prices and causing people to look for other pigging out alternatives. But if people were to start thinking that your product may be diseased, well, that’s a whole different problem altogether. Just ask beef producers, especially in England.

The pork people plaintively point out:

* This is not a new virus, nor is it a regulatory/reportable disease. Since PEDV is widespread in many countries, it is not a trade-restricting disease, but rather a production-related disease.

* It is not zoonotic, so therefore it poses no risk to other animals or humans. Also, it poses no risk to food safety.

* The virus is not a new virus as it was first recognized in England in 1971. Since then, the disease has been identified in a number of European countries, and more recently in China, Korea and Japan.

* PEDV does not affect pork safety. Pork remains completely safe to eat.

But the statement that “this is not a new virus” is meeting with a challenge. As NBC News points out, it may be old news in England, China, et al, but this is a first in the U.S., and it is tearing through pig farms from coast to coast with a Legionic vengeance.

The news that bacon prices are going up did not sit well with the Twitterverse. As one user pointed out: “This is how The Walking Dead started.”

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Bacon Prices Up; Is Your BLT Diseased?
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