Wikimedia commons: Alx 91

H-E-B Brings Back Purchase Limits Due to Rising Coronavirus Cases

Update: November 3, 2020

The number of Coronavirus cases is beginning to rise again, which means that shut-downs may happen again. According to H-E-B, limiting product purchases is a proven way to ensure the best service and product availability for all customers.

Starting October 17, the following products are under limits:

Food items (all H-E-B stores) 

  • Brisket - Limit 2

Non-food items (all H-E-B stores) 

  • Disinfecting & antibacterial sprays - 2 items
  • Disinfecting & antibacterial wipes - 4 items
  • Hydrogen peroxide - 2 items
  • Rubbing (Isopropyl) Alcohol/swabs - 2 items
  • First Aid and Cleaning Gloves - 2 items
  • Trial & Travel Size Disinfectant Wipes/Sprays - Limit 2

Update: June 30, 2020

Coronavirus cases are rising in Texas, which means HEB product limits are coming back. Starting June 27, the following products will be under limits:

  • Brisket - Limit 2
  • Bath tissue multipack - limit 2
  • Bath tissue singles - limit 2
  • Paper towels - limit 2
  • Acetaminophen - 2 items total (includes baby, trial and travel sizes, OTC)
  • H-E-B Acid Controller/Famotidine and Pepcid 50ct and larger - Limit 1
  • H-E-B Acid Controller/Famotidine and Pepcid smaller than 50ct - Limit 2
  • Disinfecting & antibacterial sprays - 2 items
  • Disinfecting & antibacterial wipes - 2 items
  • Trial and travel size disinfecting & antibacterial sprays/wipes - 2 items
  • Hand sanitizer - 10 items
  • Hand soap - 4 items
  • Hydrogen peroxide - 2 items
  • Rubbing (Isopropyl) Alcohol/swabs - 2 items
  • First Aid and Cleaning Gloves - 2 items

Update: June 8, 2020

The San Antonio-based grocery chain is ramping up its store hours again amid the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the chain, H-E-B is expanding its temporary hours of operation across stores in Texas. Starting Monday, June 8, most H-E-B locations will open at 7 a.m. and close at 11 p.m. until further notice. Joe V's Smart Shop locations are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. while Central Market stores are open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Starting immediately, Mi Tienda locations will be open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The stores are able to stay open longer due to an improving supply chain and stronger product availability.

Update: April 29, 2020

Things are slowly getting back to "normal" for shoppers at H-E-B. According to the latest press release, H-E-B no longer has purchase limits on any food items including eggs, rice, beans, powdered milk and pasta sauce. As for non-food items, puppy pads, paper towels and toilet paper are no longer on the list. Items like masks, hand sanitizer and other disinfectants and first aid items still have purchasing limits.

Update: April 22, 2020

To better serve their customers, H-E-B is extending its temporary hours in all Texas locations. Starting on Monday, April 27, H-E-B stores will open at 7 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. until further notice. Along with the extended hours, the stores will begin to open the bakery, deli, and floral departments as well as ease product restrictions.

The original article continues below:

If you've been in the grocery store in the past few weeks chances are you've witnessed shoppers pushing carts piled with mountains of toilet paper rolls and hand sanitizer. Stores are scrambling to meet demand, and to combat empty store shelves, Texas-based H-E-B has implemented a purchase limit on select items to make sure customers can find all the items they need.

H-E-B Implements Purchase Limit

The following high-demand items in H-E-B stores currently have a purchase limit:

  • Disinfecting & Antibacterial sprays/wipes - 4 units per transaction (including Baby)
  • Liquid Bleach - 2 units per transaction
  • Toilet Paper - 2 units per transaction
  • Hand Sanitizer - 4 units per transaction (including Baby)
  • Hand Soap - 4 units per transaction
  • Water (including Baby) - 4 multipacks and 4 gallons per transaction, for a total of 8 items
  • Hydrogen Peroxide - 4 units per transaction
  • Rubbing (Isopropyl) Alcohol/wipes - 4 units per transaction
  • Latex Gloves - 4 units per transaction
  • Face Masks - 2 units per transaction

Why Are People Panic-Buying Toilet Paper?

Coronavirus fears are real and valid. It's a new virus and there are a lot of unknowns surrounding the pandemic. Countries are quarantining their citizens, and how it's looking currently in the United States, there's a possibility we might have to do the same. Because of this, people are preparing for the same thing to happen in their communities.

"Unless people have seen ... official promises that everyone will be taken care of, they are left to guess at the probability of needing the extra toilet paper, sooner rather than later," Baruch Fischhoff, a psychologist and professor in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy and the Institute for Politics and Strategy at Carnegie Mellon University told CNN. "The fact that there are no official promises might increase those probabilities."

Panic also causes panic. I was in Target yesterday picking up a few items for dinner when a man rushed past me 10 camping propane tanks. Another had an entire basket full of dried beans. Looking around everyone was stockpiling and it made me question if I too, should grab more (more disinfectant products, more canned food) during my shopping trip. The mood surrounding the store was somber and quiet with shoppers whispering to each other as they consulted their shopping lists.

With Coronavirus concerns on the rise, it is smart to stock up on supplies for the next two weeks, however, there's no need to stockpile.

Watch: The Magic Time Machine Is a Wild Texas Experience