Wendy’s restaurant has taken burgers off the menu in some locations and grocery stores Costco and Kroger have announced limited stocks of beef as Americans start to feel the impact of the pandemic-triggered meat shortage.
On Monday angry customers realized the Wendy’s hallmark item was no longer available for order and only chicken items were available for takeout and delivery at select locations across the country.
‘Where’s the beef?’ some outraged social media users asked, invoking Wendy’s catchphrase from 1980s.
It’s a shocking decision for Wendy’s, which established itself as the first fast-food chain to offer fresh ‘never frozen’ beef, and it’s an eerie foreshadowing for what’s to come at restaurants across the country.
Outbreaks of the virus at meat packing plants across the country have led slaughterhouses to shutter, farms to kill off animals they can no longer feed, store shelves to empty, and now restaurants to alter their menus.
Some Wendy’s fast food chain locations have taken beef off their menu due to meat shortages triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. Some stores only offered chicken items on their menus citing production challenges at beef plants
Grocery warehouse Costco said on Monday it would limit customers to just three packages of meat per shopper. A look at emptying meat shelves pictured above at a Costco in North Miami
Kroger supermarkets posted an alert on its website saying there is limited inventory ‘due to high demand’. Empty meat shelves pictured at an Atlanta Kroger on Friday
Meat is flying off grocery shelves across the country due to shortages and increased demand by families riding out the quarantine at home. Empty meat shelves at a Walmart Supercenter in Dallas, Texas pictured April 30
Beef shortages were reported at Wendy’s locations in California, South Carolina and Kentucky on Monday. In Chicago Wendy’s ‘Baconator’ bacon cheeseburger was still available for order.
‘As you’ve likely heard, beef suppliers across North America are currently facing production challenges,’ a Wendy’s statement.
‘Because of this, some of our menu items may be in short supply from time to time at some restaurants in this current environment. We expect this to be temporary, and we’re working diligently to minimize the impact to our customers and restaurants.’
McDonald’s Canada said in a statement it will start sourcing beef from outside the country to make ends meet due to meat shortages.
‘Due to unprecedented COVID-19 impacts on the Canadian beef supply chain, we are temporarily adjusting our supply to incorporate beef from outside Canada – from pre-approved McDonald’s suppliers and facilities globally – in order to meet the current demand, effective immediately,’ McDonald’s Canada branch said in a statement.
Both McDonald’s USA and Restaurant Brands International, which owns Burger King, said they don’t expect shortages at this time.
Grocery warehouse Costco said on Monday it would limit customers to just three packages of meat per shopper.
Kroger supermarkets posted an alert on its website saying there is limited inventory ‘due to high demand’.
The shortages of meat were reported at Wendy’s locations in South Carolina, Kentucky and California
‘Where’s the beef?’ some outraged social media users asked, invoking Wendy’s catchphrase from 1980s
Over 20 meat packing plants have shuttered following COVID-19 outbreaks among employees, at least 20 workers have died and at least 5,000 workers have tested positive for the virus.
As of April 27, 4,913 meat and poultry plant workers in 115 plants in 19 states had been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.
Three of the country’s biggest pork processing plants – Smithfield Foods in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, JBS pork processing in Worthington, Minnesota and Tyson Fresh Foods in Waterloo, Iowa have shut down. Together they account for 15 percent of pork production.
Last week President Donald Trump invoked an executive order to keep plants open and prevent a further meat shortage.
Protesters pictured rallying outside a Smithfield Foods meat packing plant in Crete, Nebraska, demanding for better working conditions on Saturday with a sign that said: ‘You need meat for two weeks? I need my parents ALIVE!’
Protesters in Crete, Nebraska held posters that said ‘Out parents are Essential not Dispensable’ and #PPE for ALL’ on Saturday
A worker wearing protective equipment are at the entrance of the Cudahy Smithfield meatpacking plant in Cudahy, Wisconsin on Monday April 27 after Smithfield Foods announced a partial shutdown of the facility following an outbreak of COVID-19 among employees
Last week, President Donald Trump invoked an executive order to keep plants open and prevent a further meat shortage. A Tyson Fresh Meats plan pictured in Emporia, Kansas
Tyson Foods said Monday: ‘Operationally, we have and expect to continue to face slowdowns and temporary idling of production facilities from team member shortages or choices we make to ensure operational safety.’
Protesters have emerged at meat packing plants across the country, rallying for safer working conditions and protective medical equipment for workers following outbreaks, especially as Trump is beckoning them back.
On Saturday a small group demonstrated outside a Smithfield Foods meat packing plant in Crete, Nebraska, demanding for better working conditions.
One group was seen carrying signs that said ‘You need meat for two weeks? I need my parents ALIVE!’