Some businesses in the United States are facing a meat shortage during the coronavirus pandemic, forcing fast-food joints like Wendy’s to pull burgers off of their menus and food chains like Costco and Kroger to ration the number of meat items that shoppers can purchase.
Several locations of the famous burger chain have posted notices saying that they are having issues obtaining meat from their suppliers, forcing them to pull the offering from their menu, as TMZ reports.
At the same time, Costco began rationing its meat supplies as it begins to run low, as detailed by the New York Post. Shoppers are limited at the warehouse giant to just three packages of meat per shopper. Kroger, on the other hand, is warning shoppers that they may have limited inventory.
Retailers around the country have been preparing for a meat shortage after several major meat processing plants were forced to close after workers were sickened by the novel coronavirus or due to layoffs. Shoppers have also been stocking up on the food product anticipating a shortage.
Tyson Foods, which owns Jimmy Dean and Hillshire Farm, said that their supply chain will be disrupted for months to come. This is despite an order from President Donald Trump for meat suppliers to remain open and processing.
“Operationally, we have and expect to continue to face slowdowns and temporary idling of production facilities from team member shortages or choices we make to ensure operational safety,” the company said.
Reports from the meat producer say that production is down on meat like pork by 50 percent, and three of its six plants are currently closed.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, nearly 400 workers at a meat processing plant in Missouri were tested and came back positive for having COVID-19. None of the individuals had symptoms of the disease, which can include fever, loss of sense of smell, and body aches.
None of the workers were able to stay at home with pay, increasing the likelihood that infected workers will continue to show up to work despite being carriers of the disease. After the testing was conducted, the CEO of Triumph Foods, Mark Campbell, said that those who tested positive will be able to stay at home with pay.
Trump invoked the Defense Production Act last week, which makes meat processing plants “critical infrastructure.” Some critics argue that the purpose of this move was to allow meat processors to have legal protection from workers if they catch the disease and get sick while working.
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. continue to climb, with 1.21 million cases and nearly 70,000 deaths.