Blue Bell Is Looking for a Woman Filmed Licking Ice Cream and Putting It Back in a Store Freezer
'Food safety is a top priority, and we work hard to provide a safe product,' the company said.
Blue Bell Ice Cream is looking for a woman seen in a viral video opening a container of the brand's Tin Roof flavored ice cream, licking the top and putting it back in a store freezer. In the footage, the woman is seen quickly licking the top of a tub of open ice cream while, off-camera, someone encourages her before saying, "Put it back." The woman laughs throughout the short video.
The owner of the Twitter account responsible for sharing the viral video, which goes by the name Optimus Primal, tells TIME he found the video through Instagram as part of a story shared by the actress Alexis Fields-Jackson and reposted it. He says did not know the identities of the people in the video.
Fields-Jackson has said she does not know the woman either, explaining on Instagram that she saw the video on Twitter, "and posted it to warn people about how disgusting folks are." She added that Instagram later removed her video, and in a caption wrote that she has been "threatened and defamed" since sharing it.
In a statement, Blue Bell said it was working with "law enforcement, retail partners and social media platforms" to investigate the incident. "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," the company said.
Beyond to-be-expected reactions of shock and disappointment — I scream, you scream, we all scream about ice cream that's been licked and potentially re-sold — the video prompted many people on Twitter to question why Blue Bell doesn't put protective seals on its ice cream.
To this, the company said its half gallon containers of ice cream are flipped upside down during production 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," the statement said. "Any attempt at opening the product should be noticeable."
The company did not immediately respond to requests for comments on where the alleged incident took place, although some social media users have claimed it was filmed in Texas, citing the now-deleted Instagram profile of a woman they believe to be in the video.