LUFKIN, Texas — Police think they have identified the culprit behind a video of a customer licking ice cream and putting it back in a store freezer, and she will face charges, according to Lufkin police.
The video appears to show a woman opening a 64 oz ice cream container at a grocery store, licking it and putting it back on the shelf.
Police in Lufkin, Texas, report the video hit social media on Friday, prompting officers to launch an investigation into stores from San Antonio to Houston and finally Lufkin.
After an unsuccessful police search, Blue Bell corporate asked all division managers to see if they could match the freezer in the video to one at a store.
Within an hour, a Lufkin division manager said a Lufkin Walmart matched.
At 1:10 p.m. Wednesday, Blue Bell told police they had found what they believe was the licked ice cream and removed it and all half gallons of "Tin Roof" Blue Bell ice cream from the freezer.
Surveillance video puts the culprit at the store at 11 p.m. June 28.
Police now say they have identified the woman in the viral video, and Lufkin Director of Public Safety Gerald Williamson said "appropriate charges will be filed."
“This type of incident will not be tolerated,” Blue Bell told WAFB. “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.”
Some online criticized the company for not better sealing their ice cream containers. The company responded saying the ice cream freezes to the lid creating a natural seal and any attempt to open the containers should be noticeable.
Here is the full statement from Blue Bell:
We want to thank our consumers for alerting us to the incident this past weekend of a video posted to social media showing a Blue Bell item being tampered with. We take this issue very seriously and are currently working with law enforcement, retail partners and social media platforms. 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.
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. Any attempt at opening the product should be noticeable.
We will continue to monitor this situation.