Update: Woolworths and Coles have announced tougher restrictions on what Australians can buy in supermarkets from today.
In a Facebook post on Sunday afternoon, Coles announced it had added mince to the growing list of foods and products you can buy in each transaction. This includes beef, pork, lamb, chicken and turkey.
The rest of the list now includes pasta, flour, dry rice, paper towels, paper tissues and hand sanitisers. These are all limited to two items per customer. Packs of toilet roll are still limited to one per customer.
The move comes after photos and videos started circulating of shoppers fighting over toilet rolls in long queues in supermarkets and security guards giving them out to shoppers one at a time in a bid to stop arguments and hoarding.
“As the situation around Coronavirus continues to develop, we want to ensure you have the most up to date information on product availability,” the supermarket giant announced.
“The purchase of mince, pasta, flour, dry rice, paper towels, paper tissues and hand sanitisers is limited to 2 items per customer. Toilet paper remains limited to 1 pack per customer. There may also be additional limits on certain items in each store, please visit your local Coles for more information.”
Coles has also suspended itschange-of-mind refund policy to discourage over-purchasing.
“If you have already purchased additional items you no longer want, please look at donating them to community organisations or neighbours who have been struggling to purchase them during this time,”
“We will get through this together,” a spokesman added.
Woolworths have also listed exactly which food items are restrited in their stores and it's very similar to Coles.
Pasta, flour, tissues and hand sanitiser are all limited to two packs per shop, while bulk bags of rice, paper towels, serviettes, wipes and toilet roll all have a two pack per shop limit.
Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci issued a warning about toilet paper supplies over the weekend as Australians continued to panic buy and stockpile household “staples’.
In an email sent to hundreds of customers, Mr Banducci said toilet paper “won’t be available for pick up orders for the time being”.
“Limits are now in place on toilet paper, wipes, paper towels, serviettes, rice and some other items,” he said.
“Our toilet paper suppliers continue to work on meeting increased demand, and we’re working with some suppliers to prioritise the production of smaller pack sizes, so we can make more packs available to you this week.
“Our team will be happy to see if toilet paper is available in store when you come in to pick up your order.
“We’ve been working hard to keep our shelves stocked and delivery and pick up windows available.
“However, as you are no doubt aware, demand is still very high and products are being bought more quickly than usual when they arrive in store.
“These remain challenging times and with the situation evolving.”
It is thought Aldi will follow Coles and Woolworths and announce more limits today. But currently, aside from toilet paper which is limited to one pack per person, there are no widespread restrictions in place.
Although the store giant does say that individual supermarkets can introduce their own sanctions is necessary.
To help improve access to toilet paper for our customers, we have limited the purchase of all toilet paper lines to one pack per customer.— ALDI Australia (@ALDIAustralia) March 9, 2020
We ask our customers to remember to show kindness, empathy and calmness when shopping with us. pic.twitter.com/eyL5wwfyQ3
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