Are your local supermarket’s shelves bare? Here’s why

There is a reason your local supermarket is looking a little bare and this time it has nothing to do with toilet paper hoarding.

Rising COVID-19 cases among supermarket and supply workers in most states are being blamed for widespread food and supplies shortages across the country.

Coles said the recent spike in infections had put a strain on the supply chain and caused major distribution delays as staff members, truck drivers, and distribution centre workers are forced to isolate or await test results. The supermarket has announced a reintroduction of some product limits on meat products across Australia, except for Western Australia.

Chief Operating Officer for Coles, Matt Swindells, told Sunrise:

“The disruption levels are a challenge, we’ve come out of a very busy Christmas period and the isolation numbers from Omicron are growing rapidly.”

“That’s putting a lot of pressure not only on our own supply chain but also on our suppliers.”

Woolworths supermarket

Mr Swindells said it would take weeks for the supply chain to ‘recover’ but that the supermarket would restock staple foods and essential items as a priority.

“People may see gaps on shelves of products that they’re used to buying. But you can still shop across the category, it may be a different brand or a different pack size.

“You can still do a good food shop, but it won’t be the full offer necessarily that you would be used to.”

Woolworths said it was also experiencing disruptions to supply due to rising COVID cases.

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