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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A meat shortage is growing across the country.

Hy-Vee is one of the latest grocery store chains to announce limits on how much you can buy, and some Wendy’s restaurants are totally out of beef. But not everyone is putting limits on the product.

Consumers are starting to see new signs in stores. Costco was out in front on meat restrictions, allowing three items per member.

Beginning on Wednesday, Hy-Vee and Lunds & Byerlys will follow suit, each allowing four items from the meat department.

Karin Schaefer, executive director of Minnesota Beef Council, says meat processing is down 30%, but this is the time of year they ramp up production, getting ready for grilling season.

“If you ever see the meat case and you see empty shelves, there’s a fear that people are going to panic and panic purchase, so the methodology behind limiting some of the amounts that people can buy is to make sure we don’t have that run on of certain products,” Schaefer said.

While you may not find every cut you’re looking for, Schaefer says there will be meat on the shelves. And she adds they also have beef in what’s called cold storage. It just needs to get to its final destination.

There’s currently no restrictions at Target, Trader Joe’s, Kowalski’s, Coborn’s or Cub. Still, Cub asks people to limit their purchases to match the needs of their family.

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Jennifer Mayerle

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