Meat Shortages Start to Hit Grocery Stores and Restaurants

Hundreds of Wendy’s restaurants have run out of hamburgers. Kroger, the largest supermarket chain in the United States, is limiting the amount of ground beef and pork that customers can buy at some stores. And Costco, where shoppers typically buy in bulk, has placed a three-product cap on purchases of fresh beef, poultry and pork.

On Monday, nearly one in five Wendy’s restaurants — a total of 1,043 locations — were completely sold out of beef products, including burgers, according to analysis by the financial firm Stephens, which examined the online menu at every Wendy’s in the United States.

“Some of our menu items may be temporarily limited at some restaurants in this current environment,” a Wendy’s spokesman said in a statement on Tuesday. “It is widely known that beef suppliers across North America are currently facing production challenges.”

At the same time, a series of grocery stores have announced limits on meat purchases. In addition to Costco and Kroger, Hy-Vee said on Tuesday that it would restrict customers to four packages of fresh beef, ground beef, pork and chicken.

Stores are also anticipating that certain products may become more difficult to find. A Wegman’s spokeswoman, Laura Camera, said on Tuesday that the chain “may not have every product cut or variety available for the next few weeks.”

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