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'Where's the Beef?' | Meat shortage leaves some Wendy's without hamburgers

A meat shortage has forced some Wendy's locations to pull hamburgers off its menu.

DUBLIN, Ohio — Due to the coronavirus pandemic, some supply chains haven't been able to meet the current meat demands and it's causing problems for the fast-food chain Wendy's.

In a statement, Wendy's confirmed that some of its menu options might be in "short supply" because beef suppliers "are currently facing production challenge." 

Several major meat processing plants have had to temporarily close after coronavirus outbreaks led to hundreds of workers testing positive. 

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report on Friday said more than 4,900 workers at meat and poultry processing facilities have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, including 20 who died. However, not all states provided data.

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The CDC researchers cited risks including difficulties with physical distancing and hygiene, and crowded living and transportation conditions. They suggested enhanced disinfection and that workers get regular screening for the virus, more space from co-workers and training materials in their native languages.

Wendy's has prided itself on being the first chain to offer fresh-never-frozen beef. This could cause more issues and shortages at certain locations as some beef suppliers halted or slowed production.

Last week, President Donald Trump issued an executive order to reopen closed meatpacking plants. He said this would “solve their problems" and keep grocery stores' coolers stocked during the coronavirus crisis.

"As you’ve likely heard, beef suppliers across North America are currently facing production challenge," Wendy's told TEGNA in a statement. "Because of this, some of our menu items may be in short supply from time to time at some restaurants in this current environment. We continue to supply hamburgers to all of our restaurants, with deliveries two or three times a week. We’re working diligently to minimize the impact to our customers and restaurants, and continue to work with our supplier partners to monitor this closely."

Wendy's isn't the only company impacted by the blip in the food supply chain. Costco announced it is limiting all poultry beef and pork purchases to three items per person.

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