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These images show meat department coolers that were being repaired because of mechanical issues at a Walmart in Columbia, South Carolina.
A Walmart spokesperson said no product was wasted, and the meat was returned to shelves once the problem was fixed.
When two shoppers at a Walmart in Columbia, South Carolina, headed to the meat section, they were met with rows upon rows of empty shelves.
The shoppers recorded what they saw in a video, walking along the empty shelves. "This is crazy. I think we have a trucking shortage or something going on, or a delivery shortage or something, I don’t know. This is trippy," said one of the shoppers. The video, originally shared on TikTok, was posted to Facebook.
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) It’s true that the shelves were empty, but it’s not because there was a delivery shortage.
A Walmart spokesperson told PolitiFact food was removed from the shelves because of a mechanical failure with the coolers but that the staff was able to correct the problem without losing any of the product.
The U.S. has dealt with supply chain issues over the past two years parly because of pandemic-era market corrections and the war in Ukraine, but some social media posts have exaggerated the effects, sometimes falsely suggesting that they are evidence of a bigger conspiracy.
Although this post doesn’t go that far, the claim that these empty store shelves showed a meat shortage at a Walmart in Columbia, South Carolina, is not accurate. We rate it False.
Facebook post, July 29, 2022
PolitiFact, The US government is not creating food shortages, despite claim about buffalo killed in the 1800s, May 19, 2022
PolitiFact, This 95-item list doesn’t prove there are ongoing plans to create food shortages, June 15, 2022
Phone interview with Walmart spokesperson, Aug. 15, 2022
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