Turkeys won't be on Christmas menu if CO2 shortage persists

Turkeys won't be on Christmas menu if CO2 shortage persists
Turkeys won't be on Christmas menu if CO2 shortage persists   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  
By Reuters

<div> <p>By Ben Makori</p> <p><span class="caps">CHELMSFORD</span>, England – The traditional British Christmas dinner could be missing its centrepiece this year if a shortage of carbon dioxide (CO2) caused by surging natural gas prices persists, leading turkey farmer Paul Kelly told Reuters on Tuesday.</p> <p>Kelly, who hatches 2 million of his own breed KellyBronze birds a year, accounting for 27% of all turkeys sold at Christmas, said CO2 was used in the slaughter process and more importantly to keep the product fresh.</p> <p>“Carbon dioxide is used to extend shelf life, so when you put a turkey in a bag, you suck the air out and you blow carbon dioxide in and that stops the bugs growing, “ he said.</p> <p>“We can’t create millions and millions of turkeys all in the week before Christmas, it has to be spread over a few weeks so if (CO2 production) really wasn’t back up and running, it would be another car crash.”</p> <p>The shortage of CO2 will hit meat processing in a matter of days if supplies do not come back online, the industry has warned, which would the make the alternatives of a joint of beef or a goose also hard to find.</p> <p>A gin and tonic could also be off the menu, with the carbonated drinks industry facing the same issue.</p> <p>Later on Tuesday, Britain struck a deal with CF Industries for the U.S. company to restart the production of CO2. The gas is a byproduct of the fertiliser it produces at two plants in northern England and the company had halted operations due to the soaring price of gas.</p> <p>The news will come as a relief to Kelly, who said the problem could be solved pretty quickly.</p> <p>“The production facilities are there, it’s just about turning it on again, and paying the gas bill,” he said.</p> <p/> </div>