Hatched fears of a chicken shortage for Passover because of a one-day shutdown at Empire Kosher’s poultry plant are not even worth chickenfeed, according to an industry source.
Empire shut down its large Mifflintown, Pa. plant on Monday a week ago, either because the chickens were underweight or had leg problems that made them non-kosher, depending on which version is believed.
Haaretz quoted a Brooklyn supermarket meat manager that shortages have plagued consumers the past two weeks even without the shutdown.
However, Kosher Today reported this week that the near-panic is nothing more than ruffled feathers.
It said that kosher food sources that although prices have increased by as much as 20 percent, “there will be an ample supply of chickens for the holiday.”
Empire has resumed production, and the Mehadrin Poultry plant, which shut down in Birsboro, Pa. last year, is reopening and may add as many as 35,000 kosher birds a day.
“If my math is correct, there will be even more supply than last year,” a leading expert in kosher poultry said.