Skip to main content

Coronavirus: Some Minnesota grocery stores limiting meat purchases

The nation's pork production has been cut in half.

Hy-Vee has joined Costco as grocery providers who are limiting the number of meat products a shopper can buy at one time. 

The restrictions come as America's supply chain has been disrupted by outbreaks of COVID-19 at meat plants. In Minnesota, outbreaks have either temporarily closed or limited the production capability of at facilities in Worthington, Cold Spring, Windom and Willmar. 

The disease outbreaks come at the same time the demand for meat has fallen sharply due to state governments restricting customers from dining at bars and restaurants, in addition to schools, colleges and universities moving to virtual learning in wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

Beginning Wednesday, customers at Hy-Vee will be limited to four packages of a combination of fresh beef, ground beef, pork and chicken. At Costco, shoppers are limited to three items of beef, pork and poultry. 

"At Hy-Vee, we have product available at our stores but due to worker shortages at plants as well as an increase in meat sales, customers may not find the specific items they are looking for," a Hy-Vee spokesperson said in a statement. 

Target has not placed limits on meat products. 

"I can confirm that we’re not currently placing any limits on the purchase of meat products," a Target rep told Bring Me The News. "I would also share that we are in close, daily contact with all of our vendors to understand what is happening with their operations and currently do not have any concerns about material supply issues." 

Walmart, meanwhile, is monitoring its meat supply closely but has not placed restrictions on purchases. 

“Meat continues to be in high demand as customers stock up on protein. As we would normally do during periods of high demand, we are working through our supply chain to continually replenish items as quickly as possible to help us meet the needs of our customers," a Walmart spokesperson said. 

Bring Me The News has reached out to Cub Foods but did not hear back yet. 

According to state health leaders, outbreaks at meat plants have fueled a rise in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nobles, Stearns and Kandiyohi counties. 

Based on population, Nobles (#1), Stearns (#2) and Kandiyohi (#4) rank among the most afflicted by the virus in Minnesota, in terms of confirmed cases. 

According to CNN, Tyson Foods held an earnings call this week and estimated that the pandemic has cut the amount of pork being produced in the country in half. 

"We're about three weeks away from not having pork on the shelves in the grocery store. Maybe that will wake people up," said Rep. Collin Peterson, Chair of the House Committee on Agriculture, while speaking April 29 in Worthington. 

"This is a bigger issue than just whether we're going to go hungry or not, it's a national security issue. The United States has got to have a food supply we can depend on for national security. If people don't have food, we're going to have riots."

Next Up

image

Charges: Driver had been drinking at party before striking teens, killing one

The victims were walking home from Walmart at the time of the crash, according to court documents.

Screen Shot 2023-01-30 at 4.32.08 PM

State: Beltrami County Jail conditions present imminent risk of 'life-threatening harm'

The state is taking action to force changes at the Beltrami County Jail.

BrillyCarchiGoFundMe

Tributes to 15-year-old girl killed in Burnsville crash

The teenager was a student at Burnsville High School.

police lights

Charges: New Ulm couple abused young children with cruel punishments

Warning: The following contains upsetting details about child abuse.

Screen Shot 2023-01-30 at 1.18.29 PM

Boy reels in 9.5lb walleye, wins pickup truck at Brainerd ice fishing tourney

Contestants come from all over the country compete in the annual event held in Brainerd.

ArrowheadRace

Arrowhead 135 ultramarathon in northern MN kicks off in -25F temperatures

The race is considered one of the 50 most challenging races in the world.

Related

Hy-Vee

2 Hy-Vee grocery stores slated to open in the Twin Cities this year

The stores are scheduled to open in the spring and summer of this year.

hogs, pigs

Coronavirus: No pork at grocery stores soon? 'Maybe that'll wake people up'

A major reality check for how hard the pandemic is hitting pork producers.

pigs chickens

Coronavirus: Expect higher prices, animals euthanized amid meat plant problems

Minnesota leaders say the closure of processing plants will have an impact on farms and consumers.

JBS Pork

Coronavirus outbreak at MN meat plant; spread possible from Smithfield Foods

The Worthington area has at least 30 cases, according to health officials.

Hy-Vee

5 Minnesota Hy-Vee stores offering rapid antigen testing for COVID-19

All five stores will offer the drive-up testing beginning this week.