Woman Coughs on Grocery Store Produce and Meat in Coronavirus 'Prank'

As more officials ask people to stay home and maintain good social distancing practices amid the coronavirus pandemic, one grocery store in Pennsylvania had to throw away $35,000 worth of food after a woman went through the store and coughed on everything.

According to Gerrity's Supermarket co-owner Joe Fasula, a woman "came into the store and proceeded to purposely cough on our fresh produce, and a small section of our bakery, meat case and grocery."

"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," Fasula wrote on the store's Facebook page. "We had no choice but to throw out all product she came in contact with. Working closely with the Hanover Township health inspector, we identified every area that she was in, we disposed of the product and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected everything."

"Although we have not yet quantified the total loss, we estimate the value to be well over $35,000," he added.

Fasula said he was "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," he added.

Police are investigating the incident and the district attorney's office has gotten involved, Fasula said.

According to the Hanover Township Police Department, the woman was identified and was currently being evaluated at a local hospital for a "mental health evaluation."

Criminal charges are expected to be filed against the suspect, police said.