BROOKLYN, NY – Empire Kosher, the single largest kosher poultry producer in the US, temporarily suspended production Feb. 28 just as the pre-Passover season is getting underway, Haaretz reports. The news of the shutdown raised concerns about a shortage of chickens for Passover Seder meals.
Speaking to Haaretz, Elie Rosenfeld, company spokesperson, attributed the shutdown to about half the birds not meeting customer specifications for weight. The company was planning to slaughter two to three flocks of 20,000 to 30,000 chickens. The chickens will be held another three to four days to gain weight.
The facility plans to re-open March 4. Empire Kosher processes roughly 60,000 chickens daily at its Mifflintown, Pa. facility.