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Empty supermarket shelves

Source: Artur Debat / Getty

A Pennsylvania grocery store disposed of 35,000 worth of food on Wednesday after a woman staged a horrible prank, coughing on product throughout the store in the midst of a global pandemic

Joe Fasula, co-owner of grocery chain Gerrity’s Supermarket, posted a note on Facebook with an image of the empty aisles which once housed food.

“Today was a very challenging day,” he began. “A woman, who the police know to be a chronic problem in the community,” walked into the chain’s Hanover Township store and “proceeded to purposely cough on our fresh produce, and a small section of our bakery, meat case and grocery. Authorities are working to get the woman tested for coronavirus, he said.

“While there is little doubt this woman was doing it as a very twisted prank … we had no choice but to throw out all product she came in contact with,” he said. “Working closely with the Hanover Township health inspector, we identified every area that she was in, we disposed of the product and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected everything.”

“I am also absolutely sick to my stomach about the loss of food,” he continued. “While it is always a shame when food is wasted, in these times when so many people are worried about the security of our food supply, it is even more disturbing.”

The Hanover Township Police Department confirmed they are investigating the matter in a released statement. Charges against the woman who was taken into custody are pending charges, and she also underwent a mental health evaluation.

“The only silver lining to this travesty is that it gave us the unfortunate opportunity to test our protocols and demonstrate how seriously we take your safety,” Fasula wrote in conclusion. “One thing is for sure, we will have the cleanest display and freshest produce anywhere in northeast PA.”

Prior to the spread of the coronavirus, several videos circulated the internet showing people in grocery stores licking products such as ice cream, vegetables, and other inanimate objects in other public spaces.

A California-based TikTok influencer named Larz was recently hospitalized for the coronavirus after he was shown licking public toilets, according to the New York Post.

Initiating this type of behavior was already questionable, but continuing such practices in the midst of what is going on shows a true lack for human regard.

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