Wendy's says still serving fresh beef despite coronavirus shortage fears

Chain takes out full-page New York Times ad

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Wendy's says it is still serving up fresh beef to customers while acknowledging that "some" locations have been affected by a nationwide meat shortage and may be short on certain menu items.

Coronavirus illnesses have forced some meat processing plants to close, putting pressure on the U.S. meat supply chain.

Wendy's, known for serving fresh, never frozen meat, took out a full-page New York Times ad Sunday and ran an announcement on social media to reassures its customers.

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"While some menu items may be in short supply from time to time at some restaurants, we continue to supply fresh beef to all of our restaurants, with deliveries two or three times a week," Wendy's announced Sunday.

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Some meatpacking plants are coming back online after President Trump issues an executive order 13 days ago requiring them to stay open. But until they're back at full capacity, consumers will likely see some shortages and higher prices for beef and pork, said Jayson Lusk, head of the department of agricultural economics at Purdue University. Poultry production has also been impacted, but to a lesser degree.

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To combat the shortage, the major player reportedly took burgers off the menu in some locations.

Some customers said Wendy's locations were offering single-patty burgers instead of double-patty burgers.

"As you've likely heard, beef suppliers across North America are currently facing production challenges,' Wendy's previously said 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."

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Wendy's said it is "working diligently" to minimize the impact on customers and restaurants.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.