As supply issues increase for supermarkets, Coles has introduced limits on some meat purchases - as well as rapid antigen tests.
The combination of holidays and the growing wave of COVID-19 infections has forced the supermarket giant's hand.
The limits will apply in all Coles supermarkets bar Western Australia.
Customers will only be able to buy one pack of rapid antigen tests every transaction.
"Due to high demand, we have introduced temporary pack limits per transaction/per customer on a range of products in store and online," a statement read.
"Thank you for your patience. We ask that customers continue to respect and support our team members, particularly in these busier times."
The items with limitations are:
- Hough Covid-19 Home Test Kit (one pack, excluding WA)
- Chicken breasts (two packs)
- Chicken thighs (two packs)
- Mince (two packs)
- Sausages (two packs)
Woolworths is considering its position and monitoring product availability.
Already, some abattoirs in NSW and Victoria have been forced to close their doors for short periods, while many are operating on a skeleton staff.
In some instances, less than 30 per cent of rostered workers have presented for work.
Fears are the COVID-19 wave currently hitting Queensland will see the country's largest beef processing precinct hit hard within the next few days, flowing through to severe mince, rump and t-bone shortages on retail shelves.
Industry leaders are calling for immediate public health order exemptions for meat workers who are asymptomatic close contacts, access to free or low-cost rapid antigen tests and prioritised PCR testing and turnarounds.
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