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October 30, 2020 04:00am
By Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh
Health care professionals can educate the public that food tampering can lead to major disease outbreaks.
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.1Blue Bell, an ice cream maker whose product was utilized in the first of these videos, does not currently have seals on its ice cream, but it may consider adding them after these incidents.1
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.2
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.1Nevertheless, these tampering cases are especially of concern with the global measles outbreaks.
Health care professionals can educate the public that food tampering can lead to major disease outbreaks. Clinicians can also provide education on social media about the dangers of food tampering to raise awareness. Consumers should not take part in these viral internet challenges that are trending on social media. Patients should also be counseled about the following tips that can be used to detect product tampering at the grocery store:3
A version of this article was originally published atPharmacyTimes.com.