Giant Eagle temporarily limiting sale of ground meat at all locations

Giant Eagle is temporarily limiting the purchase of ground beef and on-sale meat items to two of each per transaction.

Giant Eagle spokesman Dick Roberts said the supermarket chain had limited some meat purchases early in the COVID-19 pandemic in March, but now the demand for meat is skyrocketing -- causing this latest announcement.

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Meat won’t disappear from supermarket shelves, but added to the mix is the impact of outbreaks of COVID-19 among U.S. slaughterhouse workers.

Consumers could see a smaller selection of meat and higher prices.

Roberts said Giant Eagle is working with several suppliers in each of its product categories.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed recently that consumer buying patterns change quickly and some products face supply-chain disruptions. But the USDA said it planned a $3 billion purchase of fresh produce, dairy and meat to help stabilize prices.

Roberts released the following statement:

"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.

Giant Eagle guests can continue to have confidence in the ongoing availability of meat and other essential items in our stores."