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Texas police ID woman who licked ice cream tub, put it back in store freezer

Tampering with a consumer product is a second-degree felony and carries a punishment range of two to 20 years, police said.

Texas police believe they’ve identified the woman from a viral video that showed her licking a half-gallon tub of Blue Bell ice cream and then putting it back inside a store freezer case.

The Lufkin Police Department was contacted Wednesday by Blue Bell Creameries after the Texas-based company “instructed all of its division managers to see if they could identify the store location” where the incident took place, the police department said via Facebook.

A division manager determined the video was shot at a Walmart in Lufkin due to “the store’s unique merchandising, which matched the video,” police said.

In a statement emailed to USA TODAY, Lufkin Police wrote, “Tampering with a consumer product is a second-degree felony and carries a punishment range of 2-20 years. The department is consulting with the FDA and federal charges may also be pending.”

While Blue Bell believes it retrieved the tub of ice cream licked by the woman, the company has removed all half-gallon containers of “Tin Roof” from Walmart, police said.

“We’re appalled that someone would do this. We take it incredibly seriously and we’re acting on it as the major crime that it is,” Lufkin Director of Public Safety Gerald Williamson said in a statement, labeling the video as “disturbing.”

The video, which was posted to Twitter on June 29, has been viewed more than 11 million times. Lufkin police obtained surveillance video that shows a woman who matches the description of the woman in the video leaving the Lufkin Walmart at around 11 p.m. on June 28.

Police have not released the woman’s name, citing an ongoing investigation.

”The safety of our ice cream is our highest priority, and we work hard to maintain the highest level of confidence of our customers,” Blue Bell said in a statement to USA TODAY. “Food tampering is not a joke, and we will not tolerate tampering with our products. We are grateful to the customers who alerted us and provided us with information.”