Kroger announced over the weekend that it is placing a limit on how much fresh meat customers can buy. This news comes amid fears that the U.S. could be facing a meat shortage amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grocery chain issued a statement on Sunday, according to Fox News, saying that though there is "plenty of protein in the supply chain," it was placing limits on purchasing because of some "challenges" that meat processors were seeing.
A representative for Kroger said in a statement to the outlet:
At Kroger, 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. 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.
Delish reached out to Kroger but did not immediately hear back.
As of Monday, Costco announced similar restrictions, saying on its website that "fresh meat purchases are temporarily limited to a total of 3 items per member among the beef, pork and poultry products."
This news comes as many have feared the U.S. could be facing a meat shortage as processing plants across the country are being closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak and many customers have reported seeing less meat being stocked at grocery stores.
“The closure of this facility, combined with a growing list of other protein plants that have shuttered across our industry, is pushing our country perilously close to the edge in terms of our meat supply," Smithfield Foods CEO Kenneth Sullivan said in a statement confirming that the company's Sioux Falls, SD, facility would close in mid-April.