Videos of individuals licking ice cream and placing these cartons back on freezer store shelves have gone viral, and this practice can pose public health risks.
Videos of individuals licking ice cream and placing these cartons back on freezer store shelves have gone viral, and this practice can pose public health risks. Blue Bell, an ice cream maker whose product was utilized in the first of these videos, also previously recalled all of their products in 2015 since they were linked to a multistate Listeria outbreak.
Copycats are now emerging, and it is important for health care professionals to educate the public about the risks of food tampering. Tampering with consumer products also is illegal and considered a criminal offense.
Saliva can carry multiple bacteria and viruses and result in the spread of infections such as colds, influenza, measles, and mononucleosis, among others. The low temperature of the ice cream and the sugar content could possibly decrease the risk of infection, according to experts. Nevertheless, these tampering cases are especially of concern with the global measles outbreaks. Blue Bell does not currently have seals on its ice cream, but it may consider adding them after these incidents.
Health care professionals can educate the public that food tampering can lead to major disease outbreaks. Consumers should not take part in these viral internet challenges that are trending on social media. Clinicians can also provide education on social media about the dangers of food tampering to raise awareness. Patients should also be counseled about the following tips that can be used to detect product tampering at the grocery store:
The article, “Ice Cream Tampering Can Pose Public Health Problems,” was originally published on PharmacyTimes.com