Freshly-slaughtered chickens (illustrative)
Freshly-slaughtered chickens (illustrative)iStock

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has warned that there may be a shortage of fresh chicken in supermarkets, due to the sequential days of Tisha B'av and the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

On Tisha B'av (the Ninth of Av), Jewish slaughterhouses do not operate. Eid al-Adha begins the next day, and continues until the end of the week. During that time, most slaughterhouses also do not operate.

The Agriculture Ministry explained that every year, the slaughterhouses reduce their operations during the nine days leading up to Tisha B'av, since significant portions of the population do not eat meat during that time. However, this year, due to how close together the Tisha B'av and Eid al-Adha fall out, the slaughterhouses are continuing to work at maximum capacity, even during their usual downtime.

However, due to the fact that between July 18-25, slaughterhouses will not be operating, there is expected to be a shortage of fresh chicken throughout that entire week.

The Ministry noted that it does not expect there to be a shortage of frozen chicken, and that there may even be excess frozen chicken, due to the product's lengthy freezer life. Fresh chicken, on the other hand, lasts just five days.

In light of the increased activity in the slaughterhouses this week, there will be enough fresh chicken to cover the week prior to Tisha B'av (July 18, 2021). The Agriculture Ministry recommends that consumers interested in doing so purchase fresh chicken towards the end of the week, on July 15-16. The supply of fresh chicken is expected to return to supermarkets on July 25.