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Supermarkets Set Buying Limits On Meat, Are 'Confident Supply Will Stabilize'

BOSTON (CBS) -- Buying limits on meat items are becoming common practice at supermarkets around Massachusetts.

"They had a limit for two for chicken and beef and things like that and they had a good selection," said shopper Laurie Choquette.

"It's only two of each item. You go to get two things of chicken, two things of beef, like two things of bacon," said shopper Rich Lawton.

Costco, Stop & Shop, and Wegmans all tell WBZ-TV they're setting limits on certain products to stay ahead of demand.

"Even though we are not experiencing any significant issues in terms of supply, heightened attention around plant closures and the meat supply has led to increased demand," said Stop & Shop said in a statement.

Ken Morris is a retail analyst. He says supply is down for meat products while demand is through the roof. "Now we're going to have people hoarding meats," Morris said. "That's going to be a reality."

Morris also said as demand goes up for commodities, Wall Street takes notice. "There's a lot of money from the stock market that's gone into commodities, and I think that's raising prices for the consumer."

In a statement, Wegmans said, "We are confident supply will stabilize as time goes on. Until then, we will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments to our sourcing strategy as necessary."

D'Errico's Market in Worcester is not putting a limit on the number of products, but the owner said he is having a hard time getting certain meats.

WBZ-TV's Nick Emmons Reports

"When we put in our orders for yesterday and today I probably got 70% of what I ordered from some companies, 60% from others," said D'Errico's Market owner Carlos DeOliveria.

DeOliveria said he's experienced the biggest change in the meat industry over the last few days. "We're just doing our best to keep up with the people coming through the door and make sure everybody can get something," said DeOliveria.

Besides not being able to get some types of meats he's also seeing suppliers increase their prices.

"It's not all on the retailers," Morris said. "The suppliers are charging more to retailers and they are passing it on to consumers."

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