Grocery Store Throws Out $35K Worth of Food That Woman Coughed on in ‘Twisted Prank'

The store's co-owner said he was "sick to my stomach" about the food loss. "When so many people are worried about the security of our food supply, it is even more disturbing"

Empty shelves at Gerrity's supermarket
Gerrity's Supermarkets via Facebook

A woman played a "twisted prank" at a Pennsylvania grocery store Wednesday by purposefully coughing on about $35,000 worth of food, which had to be thrown out, the supermarket said, NBC News reported.

"Today was a very challenging day," Joe Fasula wrote on the Facebook page of the Gerrity's supermarket chain, which he co-owns.

A woman who the police know to be a chronic problem in the community," walked into the chain's Hanover Township store and "proceeded to purposely cough on our fresh produce, and a small section of our bakery, meat case and grocery," Fasula said. Authorities are working to get the woman tested for coronavirus, he said.

"While there is little doubt this woman was doing a very twisted prank...we had no choice but to throw out all product she came in contact with," he said. "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."

Fasula wrote that supermarket staff estimated the value of the food to be "well over $35,000."

Read the full story on

Contact Us