ISSUES with supply chains, combined with people stockpiling in preparation for potential isolation and quarantines, has led to reports of a return to bare supermarket shelves.
As the number of people with COVID-19 rises, along with their close contacts, a number of workers in a range of businesses, including harvesting and processing vegetables and meat, transport and more have been reduced.
The government has changed some rules, allowing workers in essential fields to be exempt from close contact regulations, but staffing shortages remain.
The government says it is working to ensure these issues are overcome while supermarket chains have returned to limits on key products.
Australian Meat Industry Council SA retail chair Trevor Hill says as in the past panic buying sprees, consumers are turning to independent butchers.
"While butchers appreciate the business there is a degree of exasperation that they are being used every time the big retailers run out," he said.
"It is an opportunity for butchers to say we have come through for you every time so why don't you keep shopping with us."
Mr Hill - who owns several butcher shops across Adelaide - said he had instructed his staff to "fill the fridges", which meant ordering 40-50 per cent more meat than other weeks.
He predicts there could be a shortage of some lines, including mince, for at least a fortnight but noted processors always kept meat in their chillers for a couple of weeks.
"I am pretty confident too that many people still have meat in the bottom of their freezers from the last time we saw this panic buying," Mr Hill said.
How are things in your local shops?
- Teys supermarket workers back on job despite outbreak
- Fresh food shortages to continue as RATs remain elusive
- with CATHERINE MILLER
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