Licked ice cream could have sickened those with weaker immunities, doctor says

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Friday, July 5, 2019
Blue Bell licking: Strep and mono risks possible from ice cream
One doctor said if you think the Blue Bell licking video was bad, another food contamination practice could be worse.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Licking a tub of ice cream and putting it back into the grocery freezer is no laughing matter to doctors. Doing this, they say, could give someone the cold, strep throat, or something even worse like mono.

A video went viral over the weekend of a woman licking a tub of Blue Bell ice cream and putting it back in the store freezer.


"If it's shared, especially in a person whose immune system may not be as strong, there's a potential risk that the other person could get very sick," explained Dr. Christine Le of Kelsey-Seybold Clinic.

Le said this incident should encourage people to conduct better food sharing practices. She said double-dipping can be way worse than licking.

"If the chips and salsa have been sitting there for several hours and we're double dipping, we can definitely have a higher risk of getting diseases and food-borne illnesses," Le said.

On Wednesday, Lufkin police discovered the licking video happened at a Walmart. Officers spent the holiday trying to find the suspect.

She faces a tampering with a consumer product charge. But more charges could be coming.

On Friday, officers plan to talk to the FDA to determine if the suspect could face federal charges as well.

Officers are hoping learning about the health risks and penalties will deter others from trying this. Even if she doesn't face a federal charge, if convicted in Texas, making a video like this could land you behind bars for 20 years.

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