UK barbecue squeeze as CO2 shortages hit meat supplies
By Hannah Boland
Barbecues face potential meat and beer shortages this weekend, as a lack of carbon dioxide for processing plants is expected to squeeze supplies.
Meat processors are struggling to package products including steaks due to a shortage of the gas, which is used alongside nitrogen to expel oxygen and extend the shelf life of fresh meat. Major chemical plants which are sources of carbon dioxide have been closed for maintenance.
Nick Allen, the chief executive of the British Meat Processors Association, said: “With this hot weekend and barbecues coming out it will be tight.
“It’s going to really test the industry. People won’t be starving but they might not get all that they want.” Brewers are also grappling with carbon dioxide shortages.
Emails seen by The Sunday Telegraph to some independent brewers and smaller pub chains from gas companies warn of a “significant” shortage of the gas across Europe because of maintenance at plants and unplanned outages.
The problems are understood to be most severe among smaller and craft brewers. Major beer makers secured gas supplies following a similar shortage in 2018, with some investing in complex equipment to capture the gas which is a by-product of the brewing process.
Industry expert Melissa Cole said: “There will be shortages in some areas and if you drink fizzy keg beer there could be interruptions to supply.”
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