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Britain's Tesco joins rivals in rationing salad vegetables

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's biggest supermarket group Tesco on Wednesday followed rivals Asda, Morrisons and Aldi in imposing customer purchase limits on salad vegetables after supplies were hit by disrupted harvests in southern Europe and north Africa.

Tesco has introduced a buying limit of three items per customer on tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers.

The British arm of German discounter Aldi had earlier on Wednesday announced the same limits.

Asda imposed purchase limits on eight lines of vegetables and fruit on Tuesday, while Morrisons imposed them on four lines from Wednesday.

Britain's No. 2 supermarket group Sainsbury's, the Co-operative and Lidl GB do not currently have buying limits in place.

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This week, social media has been awash with pictures of empty fruit and vegetable shelves in supermarkets, with tomatoes in particular short supply.

“Difficult weather conditions in the south of Europe and northern Africa have disrupted harvest for some fruit and vegetables, including tomatoes and peppers," Andrew Opie, director of food & sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, which represents all the major supermarkets, said on Wednesday.

The disruption is expected to last a few weeks, he added.

(Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Kylie MacLellan, William James and Christina Fincher)