Store throws out $35k of food after woman coughs on it as a prank

The US Department of Justice confirmed on Wednesday that people who intentionally spread the novel coronavirus could be charged with terrorism.

A Beersheba grocery store  (photo credit: YASSER OKBI)
A Beersheba grocery store
(photo credit: YASSER OKBI)
A Pennsylvania grocery store was forced to throw out over $35,000 worth of fresh food after a local woman coughed on large sections of the grocery store in what the store owner called a "twisted prank."

The woman, whose name was not made available to the public, allegedly coughed on "well over" $35,000 worth of produce, baked goods, meats and groceries at local grocery chain Gerrity's Supermarket.
 
"Today was a very challenging day," store co-owner Joe Fasula wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday.
"A woman, who the police know to be a chronic problem in the community," walked into the small grocery chain's Hanover Township store and "proceeded to purposely cough on our fresh produce, and a small section of our bakery, meat case and grocery," Fasula said. 
"While there is little doubt this woman was doing it as a very twisted prank ... we had no choice but to throw out all products she came in contact with," he said.
"Working closely with the Hanover Township health inspector, we identified every area that she was in, we disposed of the products and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected everything."
"We are checking to see if our insurance company will cover it, but even if they do, our rates will surely go up next year," Fasula added.  

"I am also absolutely sick to my stomach about the loss of food. While it is always a shame when food is wasted, in these times when so many people are worried about the security of our food supply, it is even more disturbing."

Officials don't believe she's infected with coronavirus but "will make every effort to see that she is tested," Fasula wrote.
On Thursday, Fasula updated the post to say that the store had been fully restocked.
The US Department of Justice confirmed on Wednesday that people who intentionally spread the novel coronavirus could be charged with terrorism.
Earlier this week, a New Jersey man who police said purposely coughed on a grocery store employee and said he had coronavirus was charged with making "terroristic threats."
In Missouri, a 26-year-old man was charged this week with making a terrorist threat after he was filmed in early March licking sticks of deodorant at a Walmart, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. In a video, the man asks, "Who's scared of coronavirus?" the newspaper reported.
Last week, a police department in Virginia began investigating local teenagers for allegedly coughing on produce as part of a disturbing trend on social media.