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How has COVID-19 Impacted Meat Imports?

Meat Imports
Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

How has COVID-19 Impacted Meat Imports?

It’s almost impossible to avoid COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, in day-to-day life. It’s become a massive part of every news story, everything we do, and even the way we interact with other people. Of course, that also means that it’s begun to disrupt or impact all kinds of essential processes and systems – one of the most notable is the importation of various meat types and their availability in the stores.  Many people are looking at meat imports as an alternative. 

Meat Imports
Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

The Spread

One of the biggest concerns, especially during the early days of the arrival of COVID-19, was the idea of meat processing and shipping, leading to a faster spread of the virus. Even in just over a month ago, we’ve seen meat processing factories in the United States become proven hotspots for the spread of the virus, with some states having a rate of infection above one in fifteen citizens. The problem is, importing meat and other foods is a massive part of most industries and economies, so changes have had to be made.

In some cases, inspectors have been sent out with whatever protective gear that they can get, with dozens of plants getting suspended all over the world in a matter of weeks. On a more positive note, the health checks have also allowed inspectors to find significant flaws in the way these factories and plants are run, especially when it comes to treating employees.


Even if you’re able to go out to your local store or supermarket and buy meat directly off the shelves, you might have noticed a massive reduction in the choice available to you. The reason for this should be fairly obvious: companies are either struggling to get certain types of meat or deliberately cutting back on their offerings to make the strain easier. Looking for A5 Wagyu beef or Kobe beef isn’t impossible, but it won’t be as easy as it used to be.

For a lot of people, getting the same level of choice comes with a cost. Since you can’t physically go and buy most products, you’re usually stuck with a need to buy them online or through specialist sites, which can sometimes seem like the more expensive option. This isn’t something exclusive to the meat industry: you can struggle to get a lot of niche items thanks to the current world circumstances we’re all dealing with.

Meat Imports – Deliveries

Photo by Alex Munsell on Unsplash

Well, if you can’t go out and buy meat, maybe you can get it delivered? However, shipments come with a lot of their problems. Let’s say you purchase something specialized, like Wagyu beef. That needs to be prepared and delivered, but deliveries need to follow the usual rules of social distancing by keeping a distance from one another. This makes the delivery much more awkward, but you should expect a lot of delays, especially for shipments across borders between different countries or states.

Even once your Wagyu beef gets into your area, you have to accept it without coming into close contact with the person delivering it. Once it arrives, you don’t necessarily know if it’s safe to handle with your bare hands until you’re ready to cook it, and you can’t precisely disinfect food. After all of that, you’ll usually be able to prepare your beef, but eating it as a proper meal would only really be safe with the people in the same household as you.

The Price

One of the strangest areas that have been altered due to COVID-19 is the price of certain items. In many cases, buying meat like Kobe beef online isn’t any more expensive than it usually would be – the deliveries are the part that can cost a lot more. The further your food has to go, the more crucial safe delivery becomes, since a delivery that goes rotten or becomes inedible before it arrives is a mistake that reflects horribly on the company delivering it.

If you’re ordering a particular meat type such as A5 Wagyu beef, you’ll want to ensure that you’re getting it from a safe, reliable, and trustworthy company. Spending a little more on your food products is worth it if you want to be sure that you won’t catch COVID-19 from it or suffer from food poisoning.

In these tough times, we have to think about so many parts of the distribution channel of where our food comes from, and even meat imports; as meat processing plants in the US get shut down. Being diligent will allow you to stay safe during these times. We are all in the same boat, and we will get through this together. Keep diligent, and stay safe!