Britain faces shortages of frozen meals and even Christmas turkey due to a sudden shortage of carbon dioxide used by the food and drink industry.
Meat supplies to supermarkets and restaurants will be affected within days by shortage of the gas, which is instrumental to refrigeration and delivery.
Ocado has paused delivery of frozen products to customers as a result of the dry ice shortage, while the British Poultry Council (BPC) has warned the industry was heading into a “downward spiral towards supply chains seriously struggling”.
A sharp rise in global gas prices has meant two large fertiliser plants in Teesside and Cheshire, which produce CO2 as a by-product, have shut.
Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng had meetings with industry leaders over the shortages on Saturday and insisted there was no “cause for immediate concern”.
But food industry bosses warned that the problem was a “national security issue” that needed to be dealt with urgently.
Ranjit Singh Boparan, the owner of Bernard Matthews and 2 Sisters Food Group, said a shortage of both CO2 and workers will affect the supply of turkeys for Christmas.
“There are less than 100 days left until Christmas and Bernard Matthews and my other poultry businesses are working harder than ever before to try and recruit people to maintain food supplies,” 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.”
Read more via The Independent