COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Some of the big grocery chains are limiting how many meat products customers can buy because of how COVID-19 is affecting the market. 

Due to outbreaks, some big meat processing plants around the country are closed while others are not processing as much because employees need to social distance. 

The Butcher and Grocer in Grandview closed for the day, but earlier Sunday, the line was wrapped around the sidewalk.

The owner said that during the pandemic, he’s seen more customers for a variety of reasons. 

Because he works with local farmers, he said he’s still getting the same amount of meat he usually does. 

Kroger and Giant Eagle both have limits on some meat products customers can buy.

According to Kroger, there’s plenty of supply out there, but the issue is some of the processors are having challenges. 

According to a Giant Eagle spokesperson, their limits have been put in place not because of a shortage of supply, but because of increased demand from customers.

Giant Eagle’s statement reads:

In recent days, our supermarkets have experienced increased guest demand for products in our meat department. To discourage bulk purchasing and ensure that we have product available for as many guests as possible, we are temporarily limiting the number of ground beef and advertised meat products guests can purchase at once. In a single transaction, guests are able to purchase two packages of ground beef and up to two of each meat item advertised in our weekly circular.

It is important to note that these temporary purchase limits are not indicative of meat supply issues but are based on increased demand by some guests. We work with several suppliers to provide our guests with a wide variety of options, which helps us maintain consistent product availability.

At the Butcher and Grocer, owner Tony Tanner said he’s not having any problems getting the same amount of meat he usually does.

He just can’t get more than usual right now. 

“It’s a trickle-down kind of thing,” Tanner said. “We want more from him, he wants to take more to the slaughterhouse, but the slaughterhouse can’t take in anymore from him, so we’re still getting our normal allotment. We just can’t up normal production any more from where we’re at right now.”

While Butcher and Grocer is seeing more customers right now, it isn’t getting more product than usual because the meat processors they use to harvest are so busy. R & C Packing is one of the processors Butcher and Grocer uses. 

 “Typically, this time of year, we schedule or bookout maybe two to three weeks, we’re booking into October now,” said R&C Packing co-owner Jamie Graham of the demand for processing meat.

Graham said part of the reason that’s happening is due to the concern over the bigger plants. 

“This whole thing is, I think, gonna open a lot of eyes as to how important it is to get as close to where your food comes from as you can,” Tanner said. 

A local farmer said he wants people to know the limits by some stores is not a supply issue, but a disruption in the supply chain.

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