Panic buyers and stock-pilers are being warned to stop clearing supermarket shelves of food and toilet rolls.

The Scottish Government has emphasised there is enough in the supply chain if people only buy what they need.

Scenes at supermarkets have been reported with shoppers queueing up waiting for opening then filling trolleys with multiple purchases of items like toilet roll, soap, pasta and tinned food.

Some stores have been left with no dog food and paracetamol is almost impossible to find.

Shops have limited purchase on certain items but customers are ignoring the warnings and trying to buy as many as they can.

Now the government has issued a call to think of frontline emergency workers who work long and unsocial hours.

There have been reports of NHS finding shops stripped of goods by the time they finish work.

Fergus Ewing, Rural Economy secretary, responsible for food supplies said supply is not an issue but unnecessary demand is causing a serious problem.

He said: “The issue is that, currently, demand is so high that products cannot be replenished on shelves in time, which is creating a perception of food shortages. This is a false picture though, and pressure on the supply could be greatly eased if shoppers buy just what they need rather than stockpiling. So I am calling on consumers to please shop considerately.”

Mr Ewing said when shelves are empty others can’t get what they need because people are buying more than they need.

He said: “In particular I would ask people to think about the needs and interests of our frontline and key workers who cannot get to the shops as often as the rest of us and who are shopping at unsocial hours. Please also consider helping those who can’t get to the shops themselves, especially elderly and vulnerable neighbours, family and friends who are being asked to restrict their social contact. And consider supporting local businesses and smaller retailers in the community by giving them your custom as well.”

Mr Ewing said the Government has been in talks with the food industry and supermarkets to discuss ensuring there is enough food and essentials for everyone.

He added they confirmed that they have sufficient stocks and also that changes have been made to relax restrictions on delivery times to ensure goods get through.

The stockpiling has led to calls for supermarkets to put in place a plan to help ensure emergency workers can get access to food and shopping.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA) have written to supermarket bosses for urgent measures to help doctors and nurses who are struggling to buy essential groceries.