Police in Texas say they have identified the woman seen in a viral video licking a carton of ice cream, and are now planning to file charges against her.
The act was caught in a video that has gained viral attention on social media, showing the still-unnamed woman laughing, as she removed the lid of a half-gallon of Blue Bell ice cream and then licked the top. As the Daily Mail noted, the video has inspired a number of copycat videos pulling off the same act, and led to a major backlash against the woman online.
Police took the video seriously, and on Wednesday the Lufkin Police Department released a statement saying that the women in the video had been identified. Blue Bell, the ice cream company that made the half-gallon seen in the video, reportedly pitched in as well. The department said that the company helped police to notify them of the location where the incident happened, and police soon had more videos of the woman and the person who may have filmed the video.
Surveillance videos showed the pair walking out of Walmart after the incident, which reportedly took place on June 28 at approximately 11 p.m.
Blue Bell announced that it removed all half-gallons of the ice cream flavor from the shelves of the Lufkin Walmart, a decision that was praised by local leaders.
“Our biggest concern is consumer safety – in that regard we are glad to see the tainted product off the shelves,” said Lufkin Director of Public Safety, Gerald Williamson.
It was not clear if the tampered ice cream was purchased before being pulled from the shelves, but the company said in a statement that a buyer would likely be able to notice if it had been tampered with.
“During production, our half gallons are flipped upside down and sent to a hardening room where the ice cream freezes to the lid creating a natural seal,” the company announced, per Daily Mail. “The lids are frozen tightly to the carton. Any attempt at opening the product should be noticeable. We will continue to monitor this situation.”
Police identify woman in video licking Blue Bell ice cream in Walmart, returning it to freezer https://t.co/ORIDHbYpAN
— AJC (@ajc) July 4, 2019
The act could have some serious consequences for the women seen in the viral video. As Lufkin police told USA Today, tampering with a consumer product is a second-degree felony and carries punishment of between 2 and 20 years in prison. The department is also working with the Food and Drug Administration, and said that additional federal charges could be pending.