- Footage has gone viral that shows a woman in a grocery store opening a container of ice cream, licking the top, and then placing it back into a store freezer for another customer to purchase.
- The ice cream brand Blue Bell now says they are working with authorities to track down the woman.
- The incident also prompted many to ask why the company does not have protective seals on its products.
- Blue Bell says a “natural seal” is created when the ice cream hardens upside down during production.
Blue Bell Ice Cream is looking for the woman seen in a viral clip opening a container of ice cream, licking the top, and putting it back into the store freezer.
Footage of the incident went viral on Twitter after a user who goes by the screen name Optimus Primal shared the clip on Saturday with the caption, “What kinda psychopathic behavior is this?!”
In the clip, which has over 11 million views, an individual offscreen can be heard encouraging the woman to lick the company’s Tin Roof flavored ice cream.
Who is she?
In a statement to Time Magazine, the user who shared the clip said he doesn’t know the woman in it and actually found the video on Instagram as part of a story shared by the actress Alexis Fields-Jackson.
The actress apparently doesn’t know the woman either. In a post on her Instagram, she wrote: “I am not the girl in the disgusting ice cream video. Leave me alone.” She also explained that she reposted the video like many others have and said it was removed by Instagram. The actress also promised to report those who have been defaming or threatening her over the confusion.
Some social media users have identified the ice cream licker as a woman from San Antonio, Texas named Asia. According to a report from Heavy, she was allegedly the owner of the Instagram account “xx.asiaaaa.xx” while it was still active. Twitter users say she boasted about becoming famous over the video and said she recently had the flu, which sparked even more outrage.
“Now you can call it Flu Bell ice cream ’cause I was a lil sick last week,” a screenshot of one comment by the account reads. The post goes on to encourage others to follow her lead and use the hashtag #TinRoofChallenge writing, “Let’s see if we can start an epidemic (literally).”
I’m leaving this here as court evidence, thank you pic.twitter.com/WwMCOxybcr— 𝘗𝘭𝘶𝘵𝘰. (@zbala_) June 29, 2019
@ILoveBlueBell please note that your legal counsel should file charges against this person for affecting your company’s profits & opened you to liable issues As she may have started a viral outbreak of the flu. Which were her intentions. LOCATION SAN ANTONIO TEXAS.— AskGeeves (@OnlyGeeves) June 30, 2019
Blue Bell Responds
People on Twitter have also made sure to make the ice cream brand aware of the situation. Blue Bell responded to several users on Twitter saying they “take the issue very seriously.”
In a statement on their website, the company said they are “currently working with law enforcement, retail partners, and social media platforms” to investigate.
“This type of incident will not be tolerated. Food safety is a top priority, and we work hard to provide a safe product and maintain the highest level of confidence from our consumers,” the company added.
Many users are calling for police to take action over the food tampering incident.
Assuming this isn’t just shot for reactions, and she really put the ice cream back for someone else to buy – it should be a felony.— Adam Sith (@dfunkedtt) June 29, 2019
I truly hope she is identified and charged with a crime. Everything is not cute. Everything is not funny. Ppl are too comfortable with this internet shit.— IG ugoddess_the_poet (@UGoddess_CT) June 29, 2019
I’m disgusted.— AskGeeves (@OnlyGeeves) June 30, 2019
This should be a criminal charge.
Overly dramatic, NO. People like me with a compromised immune system (#lupus) I go out of my may to stay away from germs often missing out on life moments. Then some pathetic excuse for a human can carelessly put lives at risk.
If the incident did happen in Texas, state law makes it a felony to tamper with consumer products if someone could be injured as a result. Depending on the degree of the charge, punishments can range from fines to jail time.
One viral tweet said the ice cream licker was charged with a felony. However, as of now police have not confirmed any arrest.
The girl that licked the ice cream got charged w a felony— dynasty (@dynastyycolee) July 1, 2019
In fact, San Antonio police told KSAT that they can’t confirm that the incident even happened in their jurisdiction and say it does not appear that the girl in the video lives in San Antonio. So as of now, where the incident happened and who is responsible remains unclear.
Aside from the outrage directed at the woman in the video, the incident also prompted many social media users to question why Blue Bell does not have protective seals on its ice cream containers.
Some even say the woman’s action don’t warrant an arrest but show that the company has a safety issue.
This is not funny. It’s sick behavior but it does not warrant criminal charges. It does is highlight why a lot of us don’t purchase Bluebell. They don’t have their product protected. #bluebellfingerpointing #realprotectiveseals #kidsplaypranks— PureLuv _33 (@LittlesSonya) July 2, 2019
w-where is the plastic seal— clean slate (@PleaseBeGneiss) June 30, 2019
@ILoveBlueBell seal your ice cream from now on please— Miguel (@fortunefaded19) June 29, 2019
The company responded to those complaints in their statement by saying, “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 lids are frozen tightly to the carton,” the statement continued. “Any attempt at opening the product should be noticeable.”
CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart Helped Fuel the Opioid Crisis, Jury Finds
While all three chains have vowed to appeal, this ruling is a massive win for plaintiffs who argued that opioid manufacturers and retailers violated “public nuisance” laws when contributing to the opioid epidemic.
Jury Sides Against Retailers
A federal jury in Cleveland agreed Tuesday that CVS Health, Walgreens, and Walmart — three of the country’s biggest pharmacy chains — are responsible for contributing to the opioid crisis in two Ohio counties.
This is the first time that the retail arm of the drug industry has been held accountable for opioid overdoses and deaths. It’s also the first time a jury has been used to decide in a major opioid lawsuit.
Previously, only manufacturers such as Purdue Pharma and Johnson & Johnson faced settlements or penalties, though the latter narrowly escaped $465 million in opioid fines in Oklahoma earlier this month after the state’s Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling.
Many plaintiffs in thousands of similar lawsuits all across the country are seeing the Ohio jury’s decision as an optimistic sign — especially since most of them are using the same argument. Plaintiffs in Ohio alleged that either opioid manufacturers or retailers violated “public nuisance” laws by ignoring harm caused by opioid abuse that later snowballed into a full-fledged public health crisis.
Retailers Vow to Appeal
Unsurprisingly, all three chains have promised to appeal Tuesday’s verdict.
There is precedent to think this decision could be overturned. For example, the now-overturned J&J lawsuit first successfully used the public nuisance argument in lower courts, but during an appeal, the Oklahoma Supreme Court thought the plaintiff’s argument was too broad.
That said, every state has different public nuisance laws, so there may not be a clear-cut answer as to what actually could happen with all these cases.
Despite a pending appeal, the judge overseeing Tuesday’s Ohio verdict will make a determination on how much these companies must pay after additional hearings in the spring.
While the retail arm has largely avoided settling up to this point, if this case ultimately does not go their way, it could open the door for future settlements if they decide that route is less costly than going to trial.
See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (Associated Press) (The Wall Street Journal)
Biden Authorizes Release of 50 Million Barrels of Oil From U.S. Reserve To Ease Gas Prices
Experts believe the release will, at best, provide temporary relief to extremely high gas prices but only if other countries tap into a significant amount of oil from their reserves as well.
Biden Taps Into Oil Reserves
President Joe Biden authorized the release of 50 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve on Tuesday in an attempt to bring down staggeringly high gas prices.
“American consumers are feeling the impact of elevated gas prices at the pump and in their home heating bills, and American businesses are, too, because oil supply has not kept up with demand as the global economy emerges from the pandemic,” a White House announcement reads. “That’s why President Biden is using every tool available to him to work to lower prices and address the lack of supply.”
As of Tuesday morning, the national average of gas sat at $3.40, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). While down slightly over the last few days, the national average for November remains the highest it’s been since 2013.
Despite the announcement, Americans shouldn’t expect to see an immediate drop in gas costs. In fact, gas prices are unlikely to be impacted much in the coming weeks since the government’s reserve only stores crude oil, which will need time to be refined into gasoline.
Many analysts expect gas from the reserves to start reaching consumers’ pumps around mid-December, but even then, it will likely be used up in around a week. Last year, the U.S. used about 8 million barrels of gas from the reserve a day.
Those two factors are likely major contributors to why this news didn’t do much to calm the oil market. Following the announcement Tuesday, the benchmark oil price in the U.S. — measured by West Texas Intermediate crude futures — actually rose.
Last week, Biden asked the Federal Trade Commission to look into “mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior by oil and gas companies” amid rising gas prices.
Price Concerns Persist
In its announcement, the White House said the U.S. release is being taken “in parallel with other major energy consuming nations, including China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, and the United Kingdom.”
A number of analysts cited by various news publications have predicted that this kind of multi-country release is the only chance the U.S. actually has of meaningfully impacting gas prices.
“The bottom line for motorists is this moves the needle — but barely, and maybe not for a very long period of time,” Patrick De Haan, an industry expert at Gas Buddy, explained to The Washington Post. “It’s certainly something, but how much that something is will be contingent on how much the other countries put in.”
It is currently unclear how much oil the other countries plan to release, though Indian officials have said the country will release 5 million barrels from its reserve.
Efforts could also go south in the long-term if the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) pushes back. It previously warned of a possible response if Biden decided to make this type of release, with the organization arguing that the U.S. has no real justification for needing to tap into its reserve.
“There’s a threat this could lead to a risk of prices being elevated for longer if OPEC holds back meaningful production increases as a result,” De Haan told The Post.
Overall, the release of oil is a tricky situation for Biden. He was already facing stacking criticism from Republicans for recent inflation and supply chain bottlenecks. Even now, many have said the release of 50 million barrels isn’t good enough on its own.
On the other side, Democrats like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) have argued that tapping into the reserve could provide temporary relief.
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (Business Insider) (Fox Business)
Looters Launch Coordinated Attacks on High-End Stores Like Louis Vuitton in Chicago and San Francisco
It’s unclear if the multiple attacks in each city are connected, but police have described the events as coordinated and planned.
Raid on San Francisco’s Union Square
Dozens of individuals looted at least 10 stores in San Francisco’s Union Square on Friday, though that’s far from the only seemingly organized raid that occurred over the weekend.
Cell phone video from the incident shows multiple people running into a Louis Vuitton store and emerging with armfuls of merchandise. KGO-TV reporter Dion Lim shared images of the store picked clean in the aftermath, with its windows shattered. Burberry, Fendi, and YSL were among the other businesses she said looters targeted.
Video shared by Twitter user @CARLITOSGUEY shows San Francisco police officers swarming a Mustang outside of the Louis Vuitton store and beating its windows with their batons. They then pull someone from the passenger’s seat and pin that person to the ground.
At a news conference on Saturday, police told reporters they “were confronting an armed individual” in the Mustang. That vehicle, along with another, has now been seized by the department. Police also said they have so far made eight arrests connected to the incident.
Police Chief Bill Scott has called the attack “concerted,” saying, “There’s no doubt in my mind that this was not unplanned.”
In total, over $1 million in merchandise was stolen.
Other San Francisco Raids
Friday’s raid was quickly followed up the next night when around 80 looters ransacked a Nordstrom near San Francisco. All but three thieves managed to evade authorities.
At least two store employees were assaulted during the attack, including one worker who was pepper-sprayed by looters, according to a press release published Sunday by the Walnut Creek Police Department.
Like the previous raid in Union Square, police described this attack as “clearly a planned event.”
On Sunday night, yet another raid occurred at a jewelry store in Hayward, which is about 30 miles outside of San Francisco.
As of Monday afternoon, investigators have not been able to confirm whether these attacks are connected, though in recent years — and especially in recent months — they have become increasingly common.
For example, in May, Walgreens said it closed 17 Bay Area stores because of rampant shoplifting.
“We are exploring every single possible criminal charge related to the conduct,” San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin said Saturday. “We will use every tool in our tool belt.”
Chicago Louis Vuittons Raided
The attacks in San Francisco follow a similar event that happened in a Louis Vuitton store in the suburbs of Chicago this past Wednesday.
During that heist, a group of 14 seemingly unarmed individuals ran into the store in broad daylight and began stockpiling merchandise sitting on shelves.
So far, police have not made any arrests; however, they said they have retrieved one of the three vehicles the looters used as getaway cars.
They also confirmed that no one was injured during the attack but that $120,000 in merchandise was stolen.