The Unbelievable Reason This Grocery Store Was Forced To Destroy $35k Of Food

With grocery stores being cleaned out on everything from eggs to bread, stores are doing as much as possible to keep food on their shelves. They're certainly not throwing away hundreds of pounds of unspoiled food — well, at least most aren't, anyway. Unfortunately, one Pennsylvania grocery store did have to toss out food that could have been sold — and it was all because of one seriously big jerk. 

Margaret Cirko of Hanover Township, Pennsylvania was arrested after walking into Gerrity's Supermarket and yelling, "I have the virus, now you are all going to get sick," before purposely coughing and spitting all over the store's produce section and part of its bakery, meat, and other grocery items (via New York Post). 

Just days earlier, Gerrity's co-owner Joe Fasula had issued an update that the store was doing its best to make sure its customers had a clean and well-stocked place to do their shopping amid the pandemic. "We are still working feverishly to keep the shelves stocked and keep everything clean," Fasula wrote. Then Cirko had to come along and ruin it for everybody by potentially exposing them to COVID-19. Ugh. 

It was a major blow to the store

What Fasula called a "very twisted prank" by Margaret Cirko ended up costing the store upwards of $35,000 worth of food. Upon being arrested, Cirko was transported to the county jail where her bail was set at $50,000. Authorities couldn't confirm whether Cirko did have it, but said she would be tested. 

Understandably, the news of the incident was incredibly frustrating for Fasula and other Gerrity's employees. "Today was a very challenging day," Fasula wrote on Facebook before adding, "I am also absolutely 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." The loss could even affect their insurance rates. 

While the CDC reports that COVID-19 isn't at this time believed to be transferrable by food and there have been no reports of food transmission (via LiveScience), Cirko's respiratory droplets would most certainly make it a health hazard and could potentially lead to the infection of others. 

Perhaps the only bright side to this story is that Gerrity's is doubling down on their commitment to "having the cleanest display and freshest produce anywhere in northeast [Pennsylvania]." They might want to think about following Walmart's lead and install some temporary sneeze guards to be on the safe side too.