H1N1 swine flu doesn't appear to slow pork sales In southern Illinois

By Julia Bruck - email

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - On Thursday the World Health Organization announced it will refer to Swine Flu as H1N1, but despite the name change, most still know the illness as swine flu.
It's a name that appears to be taking a toll on America's multi-billion dollar pork industry. As Heartland News found out the name is not scaring away southern Illinois customers.
Its name comes out of something that made this restaurant famous. So how is the swine flu affecting one the Heartland's most famous places to have a pulled pork sandwich?  We take you inside to find out. 
On their way home to northern Illinois from Paducah, Keith Larson says a stop at the Murphysboro 17th Street Bar and Grill is a must.
"It's a long trip for barbeque. But when we are in the area we do," Larson said.  
Larson is not the only one still making a run for the world champion barbeque.
"People are still coming in and eating. Most of them get informed, I think, before they go out to eat so they know it has nothing to do with the pork," said Catering Manager Beck Streuter.
While the swine flu has not slowed business, Streuter says it has caused a few laughs.
"Just making jokes about it," Streuter said. Heartland News asked, but when it comes down to business? "No, it's the same," Streuter added.
According to the CDC you can not get swine flu from eating pigs.  It's something that continues to fly off the shelves at OpenGate Meats.
"Most of it's already gone," said OpenGate Meats Manager Chance Miles about freshly made sausage.
Miles says despite the swine flu making headlines, their pork sales have remained steady.  Even as the price for pork drops nationwide, Miles says he has actually seen an increase.
"It actually went up two cents a pound on the live weight from this week to about two weeks ago," Miles added.
Heartland News also talked to Arondals Market in Carbondale on Thursday, where the swine flu doesn't seem to have an affect business.

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