Grocery Store Forced To Waste $35,000 Worth Of Food After Woman Purposefully Coughs On Items

(Credit: Shutterstock Irina Sokolovskaya)

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A Pennsylvania supermarket was forced to throw out $35,000 worth of food after a woman purposefully coughed on fresh produce, meat and bakery items.

Joe Fasula, co-owner of Gerrity’s Supermarket in Hanover Township, Pennsylvania, shared the news in a Facebook post Wednesday afternoon.

“Today was a very challenging day,” Fasula wrote. “At 2:20 PM today, I got a call from our Hanover Township store. The manager informed me that a woman, who the police know to be a chronic problem in the community, came in to [sic] the store and proceeded to purposely cough on our fresh produce, and a small section of our bakery, meat case and grocery.”

“While there is little doubt this woman was doing it as a very twisted prank, we will not take any chances with the health and well-being of our customers,” he added. “We had no choice but to throw out all product she came in contact with.” (RELATED: Senate Finally Passes $2 Trillion Coronavirus Emergency Relief Package)

The supermarket brought in the Hanover Township health inspector and located all the suspected areas the woman had come in contact with. Those areas were then cleared and disinfected, according to Fasula. There has been and is an extremely heightened concern for sanitation around the country and much of the world because of coronavirus.

Fasula estimated the total cost of the thrown out food to be $35,000 and is hoping insurance will cover it. However, he believes his insurance rates will rise because of it.

Fasula did find a “silver lining” in the incident amid the panic of COVID-19.

“The only silver lining to this travesty is that it gave us the unfortunate opportunity to test our protocols and demonstrate how seriously we take your safety,” he added. “At one point, we had over 15 employees involved in the disposal and clean up.”