If you've been food shopping recently, you might have noticed some empty shelves. 

Or maybe, you fancied a Nando's burger, or a McDonald's milkshake, only to find out both restaurant chains were out. 

Food shortages are hitting Britain, with the Co-Op's chief executive labelling them the "worst" he has ever seen. 

It's a problem we in Britain are fortunate enough to rarely come across, with empty shop shelves often due to panic buying during events like the pandemic or the Beast from the East. 

Not this time however, with shortages largely attributed to Brexit and Covid. 

Here's what you need to know...

Why are there food shortages in the UK? 

According to Steve Murrells, chief executive of the Co-Op supermarket chain, "Brexit and issues caused by Covid” are the reasons behind the current food shortages in the UK. 

It's a vicious cycle of shortages: road haulage companies are missing around 100,000 lorry drivers due to thousands of EU drivers leaving during the pandemic and having not yet returned. 

It means that food can't get to shops and restaurants as fast as required. 

Chairman of Tesco, John Allan, also suggested that Brexit and Covid were at the source of the problem: "We are very short of drivers, it’s a combination of many EU drivers having decided to go home and also the ageing age-profile.

"I think certainly Brexit has been a contributor to that but also improving economies, higher wages in some of the countries that they’ve come from historically, have also led to that flow."

To deal with the shortages, companies are retraining staff as lorry drivers, however this too faces barriers with huge backlog. 

The problems have been felt across the industry; McDonalds ran out of milkshakes in Scotland, Wales and England earlier this week. 

The fast food chain's dilemma came just days after Nando's was forced to close numerous chains because it had ran out of chicken, the main component of its menu. 

The chicken shortages have extended to impact Greggs bakery according to PoliticsHome, with items like the chicken bake believed to have been affected.

Meanwhile, the Co-Op supermarket has had to reduce its range to be able to continue to serve customers. 

Will shortages impact Christmas?

Bosses are warning that the problems look set to continue, with Iceland's managing director the latest to suggest Christmas could be impacted. 

Richard Walker said: "We’ve got Christmas around the corner, and in retail we start to stock build really from September onwards, for what is a hugely important time of year.

"We’ve got a lot of goods to transport between now and Christmas and a strong supply chain is vital for everyone.

"The reason for sounding the alarm now is that we’ve already had one Christmas cancelled at the last minute, and I’d hate this one to be problematic as well."