Gerrity's Supermarket had a particularly difficult day Wendsday. A woman came in and deliberately coughed all over the meat, bakery, and produce sections, forcing the store to toss nearly $35,000 worth of food.
“Today was a very challenging day,” co-owner Joe Fasula wrote in a message to shoppers on Facebook. “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."
The past few weeks, the family-owned supermarket has been doing their best to protect their customers and employees from the corona virus scare by taking precautions seriously. The store has been overwhelmed with orders and has struggled to keep basics like chicken breasts and paper towels on the shelves. Employees are wiping down shelves, registers, and carts with disinfectant several times a day.
Most grocery stores across the nation have been deemed "essential businesses" and are remaining open through the scare despite the fact that many employees have tested positive for COVID-19. The fear of supermarkets being a breeding ground for the virus still run rampant. Despite this fear, a recurring trend seems to be people coughing on supermarket products and employees.
In a followup statement, Fasula said: “It truly saddens us,” he wrote on Twitter. “We are doing our best to provide everyone a safe environment & the items they need during this time including our seniors & those who are immunocompromised when there is already panic w/ supply & hoarding. To have to waste food due to this breaks our hearts!”