Pig epidemic causing pork prices to surge

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Updated: 4/10/2014 8:22 pm
RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- Pork prices are up seven percent from one year ago, and scientists are blaming a virus killing millions of piglets across the nation. It could be impacting our restaurant tabs and grocery bills soon.

Depending on where you shop and eat locally, it could be taking a big bite out of your wallet.

From the pulled pork sandwich to baby back ribs, pig products inside downtown's Men Wielding Fire lights up business. But it could also be lighting up the menu soon. "It fluctuates, up and down, up and down," said Owner Jack Lyons. "You just have to stay on top of it, keep your costs in line."

Piglets from up to 27 states are dying rapidly from Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea. Lyons said the drought alone has meat prices rising. Now, pork is sky high.

"Pork, everything has gone up again, so all of our people in the restaurant business they're all looking at it again and thinking do I have to re-print my menu again?"

His ribs still sit at $14-20 a rack. But if costs don't sizzle down, he will have to make a change. "You just have to see how long it goes up and what your pricing is, and you try to keep your food costs to a certain percentage, you have to watch that and see."

The Nugget Rib Cook-off is aware of the epidemic. Event Publicist Lauren Garber said 2014 meat prices were negotiated a month ago, and cannot increase through the illness.

Local farmers are not seeing a problem, either. "It's just a difference in the way we raise our pigs," said Rob Holley. "A little more traditional manner not in that in the industrial commercial model."

Holley Family Farms in Dayton sells pork products locally. Pigs on the farm are raised in open spaces and aren't exposed to antibiotics or laxatives.

This virus killing pigs is mostly seen, but not limited to Midwestern states. Scientists have said it comes from china, and has never been seen in the United States until this case.
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