Lewis Diuguid

April 10, 2014

Pig virus could affect barbecue market in Kansas City

A virus that kills piglets has entered Missouri and Kansas and could hurt backyard grilling, tailgating and barbecue restaurants in the Kansas City area.

Kansas City area barbecue restaurants and people who love to grill and tailgate should be very nervous about a swine virus spreading into Kansas and Missouri.

An estimated 5 million pigs have died in the United States from the virus, authorities said. About 40 percent of sows have caught it, according to the Kansas Pork Association, and it could spread to newborn pigs, The Kansas City Star reports.

The diarrhea virus called PEDv is considered fatal in newborn pigs. Pig deaths already have caused pork prices to rise on futures markets, and some authorities say pork prices could jump 25 percent by summer.

That could affect prices at area barbecue restaurants and hurt a favorite Kansas City area pastime of grilling pork products during the summer. The virus also could cause leery consumers to steer away from pork ribs, sausage, bacon, chops, ham, roasts and everything but the oink.

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