For buyers, the view of pingdemic linked to the gaps in the shelves of their local supermarket will be a worrying reminder of their experience in the first weeks of the pandemic, when panic buy empty food stores . How does the test and traceability system affect supermarkets? On Thursday, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) added its voice to the chorus of professional organizations and business leaders warning that staff shortages , caused by the large number of healthy workers who 'self-isolate after being' pinged 'by NHS testing and traceability, was putting increasing pressure on the ability of retailers to maintain business hours and stock shelves . The picture of staff absence is uneven, with some retailers reporting 30% of workers on leave in some areas. However, the average rate would be closer to 10%, well below the levels of absence observed at the height of the health crisis.'last year. This is not just a problem for traders. This disrupts the factories, including bakeries and meat processing plants, that make the food they sell. The British Meat Processors 'Association said a shortage of workers meant some factories were struggling to fill one in six jobs even before the pingemia, which had now strained between 5-10% of their workforce. work to isolate oneself. Are there other factors affecting the food supply? Yes. Some analysts say that a The chronic shortage of truck drivers is at the heart of the problem, with the situation exacerbated by truckers being pinged. Logistics UK estimates that there is a shortage of 90,000 truck drivers, afigure which includes 25,000 EU truckers who returned home after Brexit. This shortage affects the ability of suppliers to deliver inventory to supermarket depots as well. What foods are affected? The photo of Product shortages are described as patchy by supermarkets. There's also the impact of soaring temperatures on shopping habits as Brits flock to buy popsicles, soda, bottled water, beer and salad. . With the school holidays underway, the millions of additional vacationers, who would normally be on vacation abroad, are adding to the pressure on supermarkets supply in holiday hot spots like Cornwall. , of course, includes retail workers taking a summer break, which means it is a time ofthe year when, like many companies, the workforce is exhausted anyway. What is being done to avoid shortages? BRC says retailers and suppliers should be allowed to work as long as they are double vaccinated or 'They may present a negative Covid test. In the meantime, traders have started to recruit thousands of temporary workers for the summer. The government has said that some industries will be able to request staff exemptions, but it has not yet published his advice . He also announced a consultation to allow drivers to take a test drive to drive articulated and rigid trucks at speed up the process of obtaining licenses for all types of heavy goods vehicles. How serious is the threat to food supply? Food industry sources say product shortages are not the same as those observed last year, when buyers bought three times more than usual. Tesco and Sainsbury 's, the UK ' s two largest supermarket chains, have assured shoppers they have plenty of food. Sainsbury 's claims that while it may not always have the exact product a customer is looking for in every store, large quantities of product are delivered to stores daily.