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Costco is limiting how much meat customers can buy

Costco meat aisle CNN Shutterstock
John G. Mabanglo/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Costco became the latest retailer to implement purchasing limits on fresh meat because of the slowdown at processing plants during the coronavirus pandemic.

By Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business

(CNN) -- Costco on Monday became the latest retailer to implement purchasing limits on fresh meat because of the slowdown at processing plants during the coronavirus pandemic.

The company announced it's limiting shoppers to three items of beef, pork and poultry products to "help ensure more members are able to purchase merchandise they want and need."

Kroger, the country's largest supermarket chain, announced a similar rule last week. The limits are because of high demand from shoppers while top meat suppliers are temporarily closing their factories because workers are falling ill.

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union estimated last week that 20 meatpacking and food processing workers have died so far. The union said last week the closures have resulted in a 25% reduction in pork slaughter capacity and 10% reduction in beef slaughter capacity. President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order aimed at keeping meat plants open during the crisis.

Tyson Foods warned Monday that it expects more meat plant closures this year. The company also said it will continue producing less meat than usual, as workers refrain from coming to work during the outbreak. The pandemic has halved the amount of pork processing capacity in the country, Tyson said in its earnings call.

Costco has put in place several changes since the pandemic began in mid-March. It has adjusted hours, limited the number of people that its members can bring in and is requiring shoppers to wear face coverings in its stores.

--CNN Business' Nathaniel Meyersohn and Danielle Wiener-Bronner contributed to this report.

CNN

Comments

14 Comments

    1. Do you seriously believe that the world is making up COVID-19? Workers are sick, therefore, they can’t operate. It isn’t all about how many people died. Can’t stay open if a large chunk of your workforce is ill with something that can last a solid 3 weeks.

        1. People panicked enough during vietnam and that took many years, weve lost more heroes than that in 4 months and some states still havent peaked their infections yet! Only the am radio psyops operators are still pretending this is “manufactured”

          Honestly its sad people havent learned to respect the dead more, the hippys used to spit on service women and men in airports for fun, and now the magas spit on the graves of our honored seniors for votes!

          We can do better comrades, together and without blaming the chinese or the mexicans, just by following jesus’ golden rule!

  1. I guess meat is the next toilet paper eh…. People panic buying because of what they see in the news….. Thanks media for stoking fears. If only people weren’t so dumb they’d realize the meat plant closures are mainly due to states keeping restaurants closed. There’s still enough meat plants to keep stores stocked if people just buy meat like normal and not panic buy it.

    1. nope, you have the cart before the horse – the people with the most means begin the crazy hording process and it trickles down from there, with the media chiming in when the comfortably oblivious (100k+ crowd) finally get the fever – did you miss all the noise Emperor Crazypants has been spewing about meat over the past couple of weeks?

  2. ‘cus people with freezers are hording, just like toilet paper / armageddon

    – just imagine how much easier life would be for everyone if those privilege few would stop being so paranoid/selfish and leveraging their “advantage” to “win”

    1. lololol – do you really think things through before you type? will respond to two of your comments – the first is you can’t “hoard” meat unless you have a freezer or are willing to can it. the second is that all of us with freezers and/or might be willing to can it already have what we need…..

  3. “Honestly its sad people havent learned to respect the dead more, the hippys used to spit on service women and men in airports for fun, and now the magas spit on the graves of our honored seniors for votes!

    We can do better comrades, together and without blaming the chinese or the mexicans, just by following jesus’ golden rule!”

    It has nothing to do with respecting the graves of seniors. That’s just stupid…
    As far as following Jesus’ golden rule, why is it people can’t make common sense
    decisions on their own, instead of looking to a supposed all knowing higher power
    for guidance ? It’s not that hard to know the difference between right and wrong…

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