H-E-B has joined the increasing number of grocery chains that are limiting the amount of meat that customers can purchase. The Texas-based outlet announced the news on Twitter, and as CNN noted, it's due to the ongoing issues with coronavirus.
"We urge customers to not overbuy meat products, this behavior alone would create a shortage more so than plant closures. At this time, we have implemented purchase limit on meat," the tweet read, which was a reply to concern about shortages. It also clearly stated that the stores have a "strong supply of meat" on hand. However, there will be a five-package combined limit per customer for pork, chicken, and beef products. The limits have been in place since Friday, though they may vary by location.
H-E-B has a strong supply of meat in our stores. We urge customers to not overbuy meat products, this behavior alone would create a shortage more so than plant closures. At this time, we have implemented purchase limit on meat. Updates will be posted at https://t.co/6noU4M9L1T— H-E-B (@HEB) May 5, 2020
For example, some Houston-area stores have been limited to four packages of ground beef, four packages of chicken, and two packages of beef brisket. The store, which has been at the forefront of preparedness when it comes to the pandemic, stressed that the measures were put in place so as to not adversely affect their supply line. Similar measures have been put in place by both Kroger and Costco.
Many of the problems with the supply line are stemming from meat processing plants, which have seen widespread closures due to outbreaks of COVID-19 in their workers. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union has estimated that roughly 20 meat processing plant workers have died from the virus so far. UFCW International President Marc Perrone issued a statement on Tuesday urging action from Vice President Mike Pence and the rest of the federal government, saying "our nation's food supply are in greater danger every day that companies and leaders fail to act during this outbreak."
"It is clear that our food supply chain is threatened, and that is why our country's elected and corporate leaders must act now," the statement continued. "Tyson and every company across this vital industry must immediately join with UFCW in calling for federal and state elected leaders to designate these frontline workers as first responders."