By Sarah Young and James Davey
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain on Saturday told people who were panic-buying and hoarding food due to the coronavirus outbreak to calm down, pointing to a video on social media showing an exhausted nurse driven to tears by finding shelves bare after her shift.
Shoppers have been emptying the shelves in many supermarkets over the past week, with some wrestling over toilet roll and others hoarding everything from pasta to frozen peas as the government told people to stay home and avoid contact.
A billion pounds ($1.2 billion) of extra food have been squirreled away over the past three weeks, putting massive pressure on supermarkets, environment and food minister George Eustice said.
At a news briefing, he urged people to “be responsible when you shop and think of others”.
“There is more than enough food to go round and our food supply chain is able to expand production to cope with increased demand,” he said.