Some grocery stores in Pasadena might have to start limiting how much meat shoppers can buy, after several meat-packing facilities in the country announced they were closing because of the COVID-19 emergency.
Throughout Los Angeles County, grocery chains such as Ralphs, Pavilions, Vons, and Safeway have begun limiting meat items, fearing there might be a shortage if they don’t.
Albertsons’ stores are limiting sales to two meat items per customer just to make sure everyone is able to get what they need, according to KCBS.
“We are not experiencing any shortages and do not anticipate any issues with supply or product availability,” Albertsons Companies said in a statement. “We did so to prevent the possibility of panic-buying and help ensure more of our neighbors can find the products they need.”
Ralphs and sister outlet Food 4 Less have also announced they were limiting sales of ground beef and pork.
Earlier in April, some of the country’s biggest meat processing plants reported sick workers leading to forced slowdowns and even closures, reducing meat production by as much as 25 percent. From about 660,000 heads of cattle being processed each week across the United States, production went down to about 500,000 heads weekly later in April, according to a Washington Post report.
Fearing a meat shortage, President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order declaring meat processing plants as critical infrastructure to protect against disruptions to the food supply. The order now protects plant owners from lawsuits if their employees contract the virus.
“We don’t have to hoard,” supermarket industry writer Phil Lempert told CBS Los Angeles. “It’s true that we’re down to about 60 percent capacity in our meat processing facilities, again across all of those types of animal proteins, but it will come back, it will come back soon.”
Lempert said limiting the sales of meat, poultry, pork, lamb “is a great idea.”