July 8, 2019
A woman who licked more than her lips at a Walmart store may find herself in the “cooler” soon. The “mystery shopper” (who has not yet been identified by authorities) went viral on social media recently for licking a tub of ice cream and returning it to the frozen food display.
Now police say that, when they find her, she faces up to 20 years in prison for the prank, according to a July 4 report by NBC News.
The footage of the escapade—which already has been viewed more than 11 million times— shows the so-far unnamed woman opening a container, running her tongue across the ice cream; then laughing as she places the violated dessert back in the freezer, in a branch of Walmart in the city of Lufkin, eastern Texas.
She could face a second-degree felony charge of tampering with a consumer product, the Lufkin, Texas, Police Department said in an email statement to NBC News. The charge comes with a two- to 20-year prison term and up to $10,000 in fines, according to Texas state penal code.
Police also want to speak to the man she was with, who is thought to have filmed the incident and can be heard encouraging the woman to “Lick it, lick it.”
According to NBC, investigators also are in discussions with the FDA and additional federal charges could be made.
“Our detectives are working to verify the identity of the female suspect before a warrant is issued for her arrest on a charge of second-degree felony tampering with a consumer product,” a police spokesperson said.
“As that portion of the investigation continues, detectives are focusing on identifying the male (in the green shirt) behind the camera seen in images of the two entering the store together.”
All tubs containing the mix of creamy vanilla ice cream with swirls of chocolate fudge and dark-chocolate-covered roasted peanuts have been removed from the store’s shelves as a precaution, the company said. The specific carton believed to be compromised was found among the lot.
In an earlier statement, the company explained that its cartons are frozen upside down in production, which creates a natural, tight seal by freezing the lid to the tub, meaning consumers would notice if any tampering occurred upon opening a fresh tub.
Research contact: @NBCNews