A meat product market in Taitung announced that it would close for four days starting from the 20th after 4 of the 5 butchers were infected. The news resulted in shoppers flocking to markets to stock up on pork.
Taitung County's meat product market has been shut down for disinfection in the wake of a cluster infection. As four butchers in one production line tested positive, retired butchers have been recruited to come back to work. However, the market now won't reopen until May 24 due to the manpower shortage.
Hsu Chia-hao, Director, Agriculture Department, Taitung County: “Even though we've asked former workers that have since retired to come back and we have also provided administrative workers to help, we still can't cope.”
The news resulted in many shoppers heading to the market to stock up on pork. The Taitung County Agriculture Department says the ROC Swine Association provided additional 100-plus hogs to the market on the 19th to stabilize demand. Pork vendors at the produce market also prepared a larger supply than usual.
Mr. Hsu, Pork Vendor: “We can't work for several days but we still had to have pork in stock for customers.”
Ms. Kuo, Citizen: “How much more did I buy? Enough to last me these few days (when the market is closed).”
The county government says the infected workers can return to work on the 24th and it will ask the meat markets in Hualien or Pingtung for help if the labor or pork shortage continues.