via Blue Bell Investigating Woman Who Licked Ice Cream In Store | Time

Food Safety and a Social Media Challenge
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Mouth dropped wide open. Disgust filled the pit of my stomach. Why oh why would someone do such a despicable thing? This was my reaction to the viral story about a woman licking ice cream and putting it back in the freezer at a store.

It’s bad enough that I find myself inspecting items in the store before I purchase them. All bent, crooked, discolored, and suspicious-looking products aren’t coming home with me. You can call it OCD or practicing awareness. It’s obvious there are those with ill-intentions and no respect for others.

According to this source, she did it to be internet famous by starting a social media challenge. Officially, authorities have investigated and located the person. It seems someone with a similar screen name was taking responsibility for the act and claimed she wanted to “start an epidemic”. Regardless, I won’t look at ice cream the same way again.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time someone did a disgusting deed as this. However, this person didn’t do it for fame because she’s already a celebrity. Both are wrong for what they did. I never trust food out in the open like at bakeries and all-you-can-eat buffets. Not everyone believes in washing their hands, and some are unapologetically selfish. The celebrity apologized. However, it doesn’t erase the deed.

Food Safety

Food safety is an important topic. We trust that our food is safe to eat. Whether it’s the fast food restaurant down the street, a swanky dining establishment, or our local grocery store, we expect our food to be untampered with.

Plastic coverings, safety seals, and expiration dates are at the top of my grocery shopping checklist. I’ve heard of some people doing some unspeakable things with vegetables and putting them back for someone to purchase. While some people worry about pesticides and organic varieties, this adds another level to your vegetable worries. Yuck, yuck, and yuck. I thoroughly wash my vegetables and pray that they’re okay.

Social Media’s Impact

The social media platforms give people the opportunity to be seen and heard worldwide. They’ve morphed from a friend and family connection to money making opportunities and social relevance.

Entry into the social media arena requires a phone. It doesn’t have to be high end as long as it has a camera and internet. Download the app and input an email address or phone number then seconds later, you’ve entered social networking.

One post could garner thousands and maybe millions of likes and shares. The post originator or sometimes the person who reposted it receives immediate name recognition. Your internet detectives and blogs get activated and find out all there is to know about the poster and the subject of the post.

Food Safety and a Social Media Challenge
Photo by Mat Brown from Pexels

Starting a Social Media Challenge

Starting a social media challenge is easy and only requires a handy little hashtag and catchy phrase. Many are started in fun, and others have turned into disasters. They’re a fun way to connect with others and to feel like part of a group.

While we expect others to exercise a bit of common sense when posting things to the internet, some people don’t care how something makes them appear. They’ll do anything that’ll give them clout.

Should There be Jail Time for Serious Pranks?

If the prank breaks the law, the law should be applied. Hiding behind a social media platform to execute evil and unlawful things shouldn’t be celebrated but disavowed.

The action of opening up the ice cream in the store and licking the top of the ice cream on camera is disturbing. Seeing it being put back into the freezer is an unbelievable moment. Who knows what is going on in her body and now she’s passing it on to an unsuspecting person. This is clearly food tampering, which is a felony in some states.

Before the perpetrator’s identity was known, she was facing a possible felony for tampering with consumer products, including food and drugs. Since the perpetrator is under 17 years old, the Lufkin Police Department in Texas stated any charges would be “at the discretion of the juvenile justice system”.

Whether or not she is charged, her life won’t be the same as before. Hopefully, she’ll mature and realize you can’t just do anything for giggles and fame.

Don’t Take Anything for Granted

Incidents like these make you wonder about what’s going on in the heads of some people. It’s sad because we need food for survival.

Consumers trust that the food they’re purchasing is safe. However, is anything 100% safe? Maybe, if you grow your own vegetables and source your own food. Many of us don’t have the time or desire to do this, which brings us back to trust in the system.

For those who just grab things off the shelf, out of the display case, or from a freezer, take the time to look at the packaging of what you’re grabbing. You may save yourself a trip to the doctor or the emergency room.

As for bakeries, buffet style restaurants, and events with tables of food, beware of what you consume. It’s the risk you take when you attend or frequent such places.