The coronavirus crisis has reached its long tentacles into the kosher food industry in Europe, according to a report published by the Hebrew-language Hadrei Haredim news outlet. Specifically, the world of shechita, which has in any case been challenged by lawmakers there in recent years, is contending with dropping supplies, fewer staff and shorter availability of trained personnel.
Training for those who are entering the world of kosher slaughter in Europe also has taken a serious blow.
Many teams of kosher shochtim (slaughterers) and inspectors (bedikah) have contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus.
A shochet (butcher) from London who traditionally spends each Pesach in one of the European countries for his work told Hadrei Haredim that this last Passover “there was no work because so many of the workers were infected with the virus.” The butcher requested anonymity, but emphasized, “The situation is not good.”
Hundreds of slaughterers and related workers at non-Jewish meat factories also have become been infected.
This has affected production throughout Europe and is slowing meat processing and packing down to a halt.
As a result, meat prices are skyrocketing throughout Europe both on the kosher market and even for gentiles.