Popular tortilla brand ‘El Milagro’ experiencing shortage in the Chicago area

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People wait in line outside Tortilleria El Milagro grocery store in Chicago, Wednesday, April 29, 2020.. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

(KXAN) — A popular tortilla brand is flying off the shelves in one part of the country. Several customers in Chicago posted about a lack of “El Milagro” tortillas in local grocery stores.

Our sister station WGN in Chicago confirms there’s a shortage of the Mexican staple. Grocery stores in the area have received fewer and fewer boxes of the beloved tortillas. Dozens of people are going straight to the source and lining up outside the company’s two factory locations in the Windy City. Videos posted online show lines of people wrapped around the block.

To ensure there is enough for everyone, customers are limited to 20 packs of tortillas. One customer compared it to early on in the pandemic when store shelves were wiped clean of essential items.

“It’s been crazy. I’ve gone to other stores too and you can’t find certain tortillas because people are buying them like crazy. I guess it’s kind of like that toilet paper craze, everybody just went crazy,” said a customer.

El Milagro told Univison in Chicago that the company is facing the same issues as other major companies during the pandemic. They added that they will continue production. An official statement has yet to be released.

Some customers on social media believe the shortage may be due to a lack of employees.

Earlier this year, KXAN talked with two former employees from the tortilla factory in San Marcos, who quit over safety concerns.

Workers complained of amputation hazards to OSHA, which led to an investigation. OSHA found that the company did not follow procedures that would prevent machines from randomly powering on or moving during maintenance, the Department of Labor said.

Price hike on Amazon for popular tortilla brand following shortage at grocery stores. (Screengrab/Amazon)

The shortage does not appear to be affecting Texas. In a quick online search, several HEB stores in the Austin area are stocked with corn and flour tortillas. If you’re really desperate you can find them on Amazon but they’re going for double or sometimes triple the average price.

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