A Toronto grocery store worker was caught on video spitting on a towel and wiping down—aka “cleaning”—grocery baskets with it, CityNews reported.
The woman who filmed the incident said his actions left her shocked and disgusted. The unclean act is especially heinous during a time when people are still getting infected with and dying from the coronavirus.
“We cannot allow such things to be overlooked. I’m furious and very disappointed,” Marta Casimiro, the customer who recorded the video, told CityNews. “We are living in a pandemic…how do you think we feel? This is terrorism for me.”
When Casimiro first entered the FreshCo store, she noticed the baskets were very dirty. She started recording with the intention of showing the store manager that the worker wasn’t cleaning thoroughly (and was only “cleaning” a handful in the stack of baskets) but ended up catching the “unacceptable” act on video, according to CityNews.
“I couldn’t believe that. I was in shock…I feel sick,” Casimiro said.
CityNews reported that Casimiro tried to get the attention of the grocery store manager, a franchise manager, and other upper management but was either subjected to “very bad customer service” or never got a call back.
It took several days before her husband got a call letting the couple know that the worker had been suspended.
Sobeys, FreshCo’s parent company, confirmed to CityNews that the employee in question no longer works there and that it’s launched an internal investigation. A company representative added that the worker was employed through a third-party service provider.
“[It is] completely against the standards we work so hard to achieve in our stores each day,” said Jacquelin Weatherbee, a Sobeys spokesperson. “The health and safety of our customers and teammates is our top priority – that has never been more true than right now, through the COVID-19 pandemic.”
After the CityNews article chronicling the ordeal was published, the FreshCo district manager, who Casimiro said was originally rude to her, called her to offer an apologetic gift card.