Police in Texas believe they have identified the woman in a viral video who is seen opening a container of Blue Bell ice cream and licking the contents before placing it back in the freezer at a Walmart in Lufkin, NBC.com reports.
Blue Bell staffers recognized the location in the video where the “malicious act of food tampering took place,” according to a statement on Blue Bell’s website. The company inspected the freezer and located the half gallon of Tin Roof that was “tampered with,” the statement said.
The young woman seen in the footage licking the ice cream could face a second-degree felony charge of tampering with a consumer product. The Lufkin police department said in an email statement to NBC News that the charge comes with 2-to 20 years prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Investigators have also met with the FDA to determine if additional federal charges should be filed.
Blue Bell has removed all half gallons of the Tin Roof flavor from the Lufkin Walmart case “out of an abundance of caution.”
“The safety of our ice cream is our highest priority, and we work hard to maintain the highest level of confidence of our customers,” Blue Bell said in its statement. “Food tampering is not a joke, and we will not tolerate tampering with our products. We are grateful to the customers who alerted us and provided us with information.”
Video of the incident, which was posted on social media Friday, prompted an investigation at Walmart stores from San Antonio to Houston, before ending at Lufkin, police said.
Comments on social media posts of the clip (see Twitter embed above) helped investigators identify the clout chaser in the video, and authorities in Lufkin reportedly obtained surveillance footage of her in action at the Walmart.
“Our biggest concern is consumer safety – in that regard we are glad to see the tainted product off the shelves,” Lufkin Director of Public Safety Gerald Williamson said. “We are recommending that as a precaution Blue Bell remove products from the Lufkin Walmart shelves until our investigation is complete.”
An arrest warrant will be issued once police verify the woman’s identity.