A woman is facing 20 years jail after video of her licking a tub of ice cream and putting it back in a US grocery store went viral on social media last week.
Texas police are determined to track down the woman who was filmed opening the carton of ice cream at a Walmart, licking the top of the food and putting it back in the freezer.
Lufkin Police said the woman gleefully contaminated a 1.8 litre carton of Blue Bell Tin Roof ice cream — which the company describes as “a vanilla ice cream with a rich chocolate fudge swirl and roasted peanuts dipped in dark chocolate” — last week in a Twitter video that has garnered more than 11 million views.
Police say the woman faces a charge of second degree theft and tampering with a consumer product, which carries up to 20 years behind bars and a possible fine of up to AU$14,000.
Blue Bell called the unsettling footage a “malicious act” in a statement on its website.
The ice cream maker said it inspected the freezer case that contained the licked ice cream, found the problematic tub and removed all Tin Roof items from the Lufkin Walmart.
“The safety of our ice cream is our highest priority, and we work hard to maintain the highest level of confidence of our customers. Food tampering is not a joke, and we will not tolerate tampering with our products,” Blue Bell said.
A Walmart in Corpus Christi isn’t taking any chances with its own ice cream stock.
To protect its frozen goods, the store said, it stationed an “armed” guard in front of its precious Blue Bell freezer and posted a photo Wednesday of an employee holding a squirt gun; the photo was removed about 18 hours later.
“We’re guarding our Blue Bell Ice cream for your Weekend party, what a great way to cool down in the Hot Texas heat!” the post said.
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