H-E-B updates restrictions on what Austin shoppers can buy during COVID-19 crisis

H-E-B updates restrictions on what Austin shoppers can buy right now

H-E-B MacGregor Market
H-E-B has updated its product limits list.   Photo by Dave Rossman

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused panic among some grocery shoppers, leaving store shelves empty and other customers without necessities such as toilet paper and soap. 

To help calm fears, San Antonio-based H-E-B issued a release in mid-March urging customers to not "panic purchase" and ensuring them that the supply chain had not been broken. On March 22, the grocer went further, issuing product limits on dozens of items, from eggs to paper towels to Tylenol.

On April 13, it updated its product limit list for both food and non-food items and removed restrictions on a number of items including chicken, ground beef, frozen pizza, and pasta (interestingly, pasta sauce is still on the limited list).

"For the long term, H-E-B is in a good in-stock position on many of the items our customers need and we are working around the clock to restock our shelves," the grocer notes in a release. "To help protect the supply chain in Texas, we’ve implemented temporary purchase limits on certain items. Limiting product purchases and store hours is a proven way to ensure the best service and product availability for all customers."

H-E-B is limiting the following items per trip/transaction until further notice:

Food items

Eggs (smaller than 30 count) — 2 items
Eggs (30 count and larger) — 1 item
Pasta sauce — 4 items
Rice — 4 items
Dried beans — 4 items
Powdered milk — 2 items

Non-food items

Acetaminophen — 2 items total (includes baby, trial and travel sizes, OTC)
Baby wipes — 2 items
Sanitary tampons, pads, and liners — 2 items
Incontinence — 2 items
Puppy pads — 1 item
Bath tissue multipack (Central Texas, San Antonio, Gulf, Border, West Texas, North Texas) — 1 item
Bath tissue single roll (Central Texas, San Antonio, Gulf, Border, West Texas, North Texas) —  2 items
Bath tissue (Houston area) — 2 items
Paper towels — 2 items
Disinfecting and antibacterial sprays — 2 items
Disinfecting and antibacterial wipe — 2 items
Trial and travel size disinfecting and antibacterial sprays/wipes — 2 items
Liquid bleach — 2 items
Hand sanitizer — 2 items
Hand soap — 2 items
Aloe vera — 2 items 
Hydrogen peroxide — 2 items
Rubbing (Isopropyl) alcohol/swabs — 2 items
First aid and cleaning gloves — 2 items
Masks — 2 items

Along with purchase limits, H-E-B will not take returns on the following items: paper towels, bath tissue, thermometers, analgesics, disinfecting sprays, disinfecting wipes, frozen food, liquid/bar soap, hand sanitizer, cold/allergy/sinus medications, vitamins/supplements, and laundry detergent.