Costco limits beef purchases amid fears of supply shortages

Costco Wholesale Corp announces limits on the number of beef, pork and poultry products customers can buy.
calendar icon 5 May 2020
clock icon 1 minute read

According to Reuters, the move comes as grocery stores prepare for massive meat shortages following COVID-19-related supply disruptions.

Some of the biggest slaughterhouses in the United States closed over the last few weeks as COVID-19 spread widely through meat processing facilities where large groups of employees often work shoulder to shoulder in difficult conditions.

Costco said it would temporarily limit fresh beef, pork and poultry purchases to a total of 3 items per Costco member, following Kroger Co, which has put purchase limits on ground beef and fresh pork at some of its stores.

Starting 4 May, the retailer will also require all shoppers to wear face masks or face coverings to reduce the transmission of the virus.

John Tyson, chairman of the United States' largest meat processing company Tyson Foods Inc said last week the food supply chain was "breaking" and millions of pounds of meat would vanish from grocery stores in the country.

President Trump later ordered meat processing plants to stay open to shore up food supplies, a move that drew criticism from unions, saying that at-risk workers needed more protection.

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