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The Associated Press reports that “unlike other critical infrastructure sectors like water, energy and health care, the food industry isn't getting much help from state and federal governments when it comes to disaster planning” for a possible avian flu pandemic. “That puts the burden on individual supermarket chains and wholesalers to deal with a potentially large number of sick workers that could affect store operations and disrupt the food supply.”

One of the challenges facing the food business in the case of a pandemic would be that the supply chain could get tied up in knots while absenteeism increase – and yet at the same time, people would be far more likely to want to eat at home, putting greater pressure on supermarkets to perform.

“The industry is actively thinking through contingency plans, so if it should happen, our members would be well prepared to deal with it," Tim Hammonds, president of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), tells the AP, noting that FMI is “urging wholesalers and retailers to talk with their suppliers about alternative sources for their products and to anticipate what products will be in high demand in a pandemic situation, such as medicines and food staples.”
KC's View:
Let us get this straight.

The US Congress is going to have time to debate a “Play Every Day” bill, but the federal government isn’t helping the food industry enough with its disaster planning?

Our tax dollars at work.