Instagrammer licks ice cream in store, puts it back in freezer

A person on Instagram with the handle Tequan Hines posted a video that shows him and a companion in a grocery store taking a container of ice cream from a freezer, licking it, and putting it back in the freezer. It may have gained him some notoriety, but it could also earn him a felony conviction.

From Eisner Gorin LLP's website on food tampering penalties:

If you're convicted of federal consumer product tampering, you could face harsh penalties that vary according to the type and severity of the offense, along with significant fines. For example:

  • If you tamper with a product for the purpose of injuring a business, not with the intent of hurting or killing consumers, you could face up to 3 years in prison.
  • If you falsely claim a product was tampered with, or if you threaten to tamper with a product…the maximum penalty is five years in prison.
  • For general instances of tampering or attempted tampering where the injury did not occur…the maximum penalty is ten years in prison.
  • If the tampering resulted in serious injury to another person…the penalty is up to 20 years in prison.
  • If the tampering results in someone's death…the maximum penalty is life imprisonment.

Tainting consumer products under this law can result in a maximum of three years in federal prison, while knowingly communicating false information about a consumer product being tainted can result in five years of imprisonment if convicted.