A trend is emerging on social media where people are taking videos of themselves opening food containers, tampering with the contents then returning them to the shelves. Last week footage of the teenage girl licking the top of a tub of open ice cream then putting it back into the freezer of the store went viral. The video was initially posted on the Instagram account of actress Alexis Fields-Jackson and then shared on Twitter by Optimus Primal.
The incident occurred at a Walmart in Lufkin, Texas, where staff were able to locate and remove the half gallon of Tin Roof ice cream that appeared to have been opened The Lufkin Police Department is currently investigating the incident and Blue Bell, maker of Tin Roof, has removed all half-gallon sized ice cream from the store.
According to Lufkin police he young woman in this video is a 14-year old juvenile with ties to the area through her boyfriend’s family. Because she’s underage, her identity has not been made public due to Texas Family Code. The case will be turned over to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department but it’s unclear what the charges against her will be.
In a statement about the incident, Blue Bell Creameries said:
We want to thank our consumers for alerting us to the recent food tampering incident. We take this issue very seriously and are currently working with law enforcement, retail partners and social media platforms. This type of incident will not be tolerated.
Food safety is a top priority, and we work hard to provide a safe product and maintain the highest level of confidence from our consumers.
Food tampering is a serious crime and can lead to up to 20 years in prison for adults found guilty of the offense. In a statement to USA TODAY, Lufkin Police said:
Tampering with a consumer product is a second-degree felony and carries a punishment range of 2-20 years. The department is consulting with the FDA and federal charges may also be pending.
Another similar but unrelated incident took place and was again posted on Twitter. A video showing an individual, in an unidentified Walmart, gargling mouthwash before spitting it back into the bottle and putting it back on the shelf, was posted by the offending individual, named Bameron Nicole Smith.
Not to be outdone, a friend of Smith’s, named Larz, claimed to have starte the trend in a tweet released last Wednesday. Larz, who has a YouTube channel said:
‘I started the trend of opening products without buying them.’
He appeared also posted a video that showed him scooping ice cream from a tub with his hands and eating it, then putting it back on the shelf.
The Daily Mail spoke with Walmart officials regarding the mouthwash incident, who said:
We are investigating this incident,’ a spokesperson said on Friday. ‘If someone tampers with a product and leaves it on the shelf, we will work with law enforcement to identify and prosecute those found responsible to the fullest extent of the law.
Several more incidents have appeared on Twitter.