Subway Is Running Out of Sandwich Meat Due to the Bird Flu

The bird flu outbreak has had some interesting effects.

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Just because we took a breath from reporting on supply chain issues doesn't mean the debacle has sorted itself out already. In fact, far from it. Subway is running out of sandwich meat due to a perfect storm of production issues and the bird flu. 

According to Food & Wine, franchisees said that the sliced turkey supply has dwindled, while others reported difficulty getting ham and roast beef as well. A spokesperson for the chain commented that "supply issues due to a temporary production issue at a protein supplier" spurred the shortage, and that it is working to "source meats from additional suppliers." 

Those other supplies might run into similar issues, however, the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) reports. There are 292 confirmed cases of commercial and backyard flocks with the highly contagious Pathogenic Avian Influenza across 34 states. To put that number into perspective, it equates to 37.5 million affected birds, the outlet reports.

Just last month, the USDA predicted poultry prices to soar by 7.5% and 8.5% this year, with wholesale poultry prices up as much as 27.9% in March, all of which you can blame on the bird flu. Subway was similarly forced to raise its prices.

"The supply chain challenges that continue to impact the entire industry, as well as ongoing inflation, has led to protein price increases," a spokesperson for the chain told Restaurant Business Online. "We are working with our franchisees to provide guidance on managing incremental costs, which includes balancing the value proposition for our guests, while ensuring franchisee profitability."

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Megan Schaltegger is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist.