As fears continue to grow of meat shortages across the country, Kroger has announced a limit on how much meat customers are allowed to buy at one time. Introduced this week across all of its stores, the measure entails a 2-pack limit on the purchase of fresh chicken, pork and beef (which includes ground beef).
"There is plenty of protein in the supply chain; however, some processors are experiencing challenges. We feel good about our ability to maintain a broad assortment of meat and seafood for our customers because we purchase protein from a diverse network of suppliers," the supermarket chain said in a statement, WSLS reports. "At this time, we have added purchase limits on chicken and fresh pork, and customers are being limited to two pork items and two chicken items. We are monitoring conditions and the supply chain daily for changes. We are asking our customers to shop responsibly and purchase only what they need, knowing that we will continue to replenish stores daily."
UPDATE: Kroger stores across the country, including here in Arkansas are limiting the amount of meat purchases per customer. I just went to the Kroger in the Heights. Signs say 2-pack limit on “fresh chicken, pork, beef, ground beef.” #arnews @KATVNews pic.twitter.com/f6MD33YDr1— Marine Glisovic KATV (@KATVMarine) May 4, 2020
Customers purchasing groceries via Kroger's pickup service will now see alerts posted under certain items, according to PEOPLE. Currently on their site, Beef, Pork and Ham, and Lamb, Veal & Bison products show a message reading, "Please note that due to high demand, we temporarily have limited inventory on various items. We appreciate your patience as we work to restock."
The newly-implemented limit across multiple products, announced Tuesday, comes just a day after Kroger first confirmed it would begin implementing restrictions. In a statement to KATV News, shared by reporter Marine Glisovic, the company said it would put a purchase limit on ground beef and fresh pork at select locations.
"We feel good about our ability to maintain a broad assortment of meat and seafood for our customers because we purchase protein from a diverse network of suppliers," the company wrote. "There is plenty of protein in the supply chain; however, some processors are experiencing challenges. At this time, we've added purchase limits only on ground beef and fresh pork in some areas."
The decision to implement such limits comes as meat processors across the country temporarily close and slow their production as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Smithfield Foods, the world's biggest pork producer, shuttered the doors of its Sioux Falls, South Dakota facility, at the time warning that the country was "perilously close to the edge in terms of our meat supply." After closing several plants, Tyson Foods board chairman wrote that "the food supply chain is breaking."
In response, a number of companies have taken measures similar to that of Kroger. Costco on Monday announced a purchase limit on fresh meat. Meanwhile, McDonald's Canada has removed Angus burgers from its menus and begun importing beef. Wendy's has also removed hamburgers from some locations in the United States.