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Your favourite frozen meals could DISAPPEAR from supermarket shelves in 10 DAYS, produce chiefs warn

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YOUR favourite frozen meals could disappear from supermarket shelves in just 10 days, produce chiefs warn.

Gas shortages and soaring prices have threatened a dry ice crisis, jeopardising the production and supply of food.

Empty supermarket shelves at a Sainsbury’s in Durham
AP

A shopper facing limited supply at a Tesco in Manchester[/caption]

Brits are already facing a bleak winter of bare supermarket shelves and toy shortages – but frozen goods could be hit next.

Ocado last night warned it was not able to deliver most frozen foods due to a lack of dry ice, produced from carbon dioxide which is running low.

And one of the country’s biggest pork producers is also facing major supply issues and urged the government to step in.

A shutdown of two fertiliser plants in the north of England — which produces CO2 as a by-product — has triggered huge problems in meat supply and other foods.

The factories were forced to close due to the high gas prices after providing 60 per cent of domestic production of commercial CO2.

The gas is used to stun animals before slaughter and in the packaging of foods to increase shelf life.

Adam Couch, chief executive of Yorkshire-based pork producer Cranswick, said his business was just days from running out of CO2.


“We will run out within the next seven to ten days without a shadow of a doubt,” he told The Times.

“This is a serious state of affairs, because along with staff shortages and difficulties processing it just adds more pressure onto what is already a very difficult situation.

“I can’t think of many industries that don’t use CO2. [The government] needs to step in.”

And British Meat Processors Association boss Nick Allen warned businesses in the industry can carry on for less than two weeks before CO2 stocks run out and no meat will be available.

He said: “Everyone is outraged these fertiliser plants can shut down without warning and take something so essential to the supply chain off-stream just like that.”

The country’s biggest poultry supplier even claimed last night that Christmas dinners could be “cancelled” due to the shortage.

Ranjit Singh Boparan, the owner of Bernard Matthews and 2 Sisters Food Group, says the lack of gas combined with a shortage of workers will massively hit supply.

‘CHRISTMAS CANCELLED’

He said: “The supply of Bernard Matthews turkeys this Christmas was already compromised as I need to find 1,000 extra workers to process supplies.

“Now, with no CO2 supply, Christmas will be cancelled.”

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng was locked in crisis talks with energy bosses including Centrica and EDF yesterday.

The CO2 shortages piles further pressure on the food and drink industry which is already struggling with a catastrophic shortage of 100,000 HGV drivers.

Brexit, increased gas prices and the pandemic have all played key roles in the shortages.

And industry figures have said it has created the “perfect storm” over the Christmas run-up.

Mr Kwarteng will hold further discussions this week in the hope of restarting production across the country.



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