The one food item panic buyers don’t want to buy
As panic buyers strip supermarket shelves of non-perishable goods, it appears there's one food item they would rather do without.
Amid growing fears the coronavirus pandemic will result in widespread self-isolation, Aussies have been stockpiling everything from pasta to milk and other essentials and of course - an excessive amount of toilet paper.
But comedian and radio presenter Hamish Blake pointed out there is one dry pasta that has been left abandoned among all the frantic buying - risoni.
The 38-year-old shared a photo on Sunday with his nearly 1 million Instagram followers of the pasta aisle of his local Coles supermarket.
It showed every single variety of pasta had been taken, except for one - risoni.
There were at least 20 packets of the $2 shortcut pasta that is commonly used in soups left on the shelf.
"Everybody is doing it tough right now but spare a thought for Risoni," he began the post.
"Brutal way to find out where you sit in PPH (Pasta Popularity Hierarchy). Risoni I want you to know I'd absolutely use you as the noodle in a chicken noodle soup.
"I mean, not today, I'm only allowed 2 packs and I'm chasing rigatoni. But maybe next week. Stay in the fight."
His post has raked in more than 112,000 likes and over 4600 comments with followers thanking the father-of-one for the much-needed dose of lighthearted humour.
"This is the kind of content we need in these hard times," one person wrote, while others jumped on board to also "spare a thought".
"Thoughts and prayers for risoni," one follower wrote.
"Poor risoni. Think I have had half a box in my cupboard for 3 years," a second follower said.
"Ha ha sh*t I feel bad, I ignored it too."
But it wasn't all bad news for the abandoned dry pasta with many coming to its aid.
"Not the risoni!! I was actually wanting to buy some recently. Lucky me," one person said.
"Not in my house. Risoni fans here," added another.
"It suits me fine because Risoni is great, but not many people know how to use it, so I get to cruise into Woolies, grab my risoni, then stroll out, without any toilet paper, canned vegetables or Panadol, of course."
Blake is currently in Australia with his wife, Zoë Foster Blake, who recently returned from New York City on a work trip for her skincare line, Go-To.
Last week the 39-year-old revealed on Instagram that she had arrived "just in the nick of time" as parts of the city prepared to go into lockdown.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in chaotic scenes at supermarkets with arguments and fights breaking out as panic buyers rush to get their hands on certain goods.
On Sunday, police were called to a Woolworths in south west Sydney over a brawl at the supermarket's checkout.
Footage from inside the store showed large groups of customers yelling in the midst of a melee at the Bass Hill Woolworths.
Staff members could be seen trying to keep feuding parties apart in the shocking video. "He hit my dad," a man can be heard yelling as he runs around the check-outs.
A police spokeswoman told news.com.au a person had been taken into custody over the incident.
It comes after two women were charged following a toilet roll fight earlier this month which took place at a Chullora Woolworths, also in Sydney's south west.
Video of the incident went viral after it was posted online.
Staff were forced to intervene to break up the brawl where two Bankstown women, aged 23 and 60, were issued court attendance notices for affray.
On Tuesday, Woolworths will introduce a dedicated shopping hour for the elderly and people with disabilities, prompted by the "unprecedented demand" for groceries.
The initiative will be between 7am and 8am from Tuesday, March 17 until at least Friday, "exclusively" for people with a government-issued concession card.
DEATH TOLL RISES IN AUSTRALIA
There are now 313 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Australia.
Of those, 134 are in NSW, 57 in Victoria, 61 in Queensland, 20 in SA, 17 in WA, seven in Tasmania, one in the NT and one in the ACT.
Five people have died - one in WA, three in NSW and one in Queensland.
Follow our live, rolling coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.