Britain tells shoppers: there is enough food so stop hoarding

Reuters , Saturday 21 Mar 2020

People wear protective face masks as they walk down a quiet Regent Street in central London on March 21, 2020 (Photo: AFP)

Britain on Saturday urged people to act responsibly when they shop for food and stop hoarding so that there was enough for health workers fighting the coronavirus outbreak.

"There is more than enough food to go round and our food supply chain is able to expand production to cope with increased demand," Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs George Eustice told reporters. "Be responsible when you shop and think of others."

"Buying more than you need means that others may be left without and it is making life more difficult for those front line workers, such as our doctors and nurses and NHS support staff," Eustice said.

Manufacturers have produced around 50% more food than they usually do to cope with soaring demand, Eustice said.

"In the last week sales of some foods have increased significantly and manufacturers have produced around 50% more food than they usually would," he said.

"There is no shortage of food available and more is arriving at shops every day but the challenge that all of our retailers have faced is keeping shelves stocked throughout the day in the face of increased purchasing behaviour," he said.

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