Coronavirus: US's largest supermarket chain to limit ground beef, pork purchases

Meat products are displayed on grocery store shelves inside Kroger's Ralphs supermarket amid fears of the global growth of coronavirus cases, in Los Angeles, California, on March 15, 2020. (Reuters)

Kroger, the largest supermarket chain in the US, said it had put purchase limits on ground beef and fresh pork at some of its stores following growing concerns over meat shortages due to coronavirus-induced supply disruptions.

The world's biggest meat companies, including Smithfield Foods Inc, Cargill Inc, JBS USA and Tyson Foods Inc, have halted operations at about 20 slaughterhouses and processing plants in North America as workers fall ill, stoking global fears of a meat shortage.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

Earlier this week, US President Donald Trump ordered meat-processing plants to stay open to protect the food supply in the country.

“There is plenty of protein in the supply chain. However, some processors are experiencing challenges,” a Kroger spokesperson said.

The news of the purchase restrictions was first reported by CNN, and the report added Walmart Inc did not expect it will have to set product limits on meat.

Walmart did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

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