Cashier says customer let son eat apple in store; close up of apple core in blue background; woman holding up opened packaging at grocery store

vovidzha/ShutterStock @not.just.nat/TikTok (Licensed)

‘She basically stole the apple’: Cashier says customer let son eat apple in store, asked her to weigh just the apple core during checkout

‘Are they taking that apple out of your check?’


Jack Alban


A former cashier is getting criticized after she recalled the time a mother let her son eat an apple in the store and then proceeded to take the apple core to checkout.

“As a rule, I personally don’t open things in the grocery store,” Nat Lele (@not.just.nat) starts, adding that she realizes parents with “fussy” children may allow their kids to eat products before paying for them.

“This one time, when I was a cashier, I had this woman come up with her toddler who was maybe, I don’t know, 18 months, or something, and handed me an Apple core. She said, ‘Oh, he got hungry, but we’ll pay for it,” Nat recalls.

“Unless I plan on weighing the toddler, there was no way I could actually cash her out with the apple core. And this surprised her. She was like, ‘Just weigh the apple,’” she continues. “‘Ma’am, half the apple is in your son.’ My manager let her slide but told her that she basically stole the apple.”

Nat’s video was viewed a whopping 2.4 million times and sparked a string of negative reactions from viewers.

@not.just.nat #stitch with @Ana Gildersleeve Don't eat the produce in the store folks, you got to pay for that first #cashier #grocerystore #apple #payforit ♬ original sound – Nat Lele

Many, including former and current cashiers, assumed Nat was defending the grocery store’s inventory. “I’m sure the grocery store will be fine,” one TikToker said.

Nat’s video received a ton of comments like this. “Are they taking that apple out of your check?” another sarcastically questioned.

“Either let it slide or weigh another apple. It’s not that hard … I was a cashier too,” a third wrote.

These reactions prompted the TikToker to respond in a follow-up video. “The point is that you should not eat things that need to be weighed in the grocery store, because, technically, you’re consuming merchandise that cannot be paid for once it is eaten,” she says.

She adds that she was only 17 years old when she worked at the grocery store and felt her only option was to get her manager involved.

“I was not about to pretend to weigh something and then like make it up,” Nat says. “So I grabbed my manager. She talked with the lady. The lady apologized, and it was done. Nobody called the police. Nobody was really mad. Maybe it was just a realization for this customer to not do that.”

So what about the legalities of eating food in the store?

In all cases, it’s illegal for a person to use or consume a product or service before rendering payment in a retail environment, according to KENS 5. At sit-down restaurants where a tab is run up, there’s the expectation that the customer in question is going to pay afterward, but consuming a product in a grocery store before that bad boy is rung up, and you hand over your cash for it, is technically a crime.

This doesn’t mean that businesses aren’t going to be lax about the rule, however. As a general rule of thumb, there will be a lot of retailers who are fine with you cracking open a soda while you’re in the checkout line, or opening a bag of chips, because the UPC codes on these items can easily be scanned and paid for, even if all of the contents are depleted by the time these items are scanned.

Where things start to get iffy is when, like in the case mentioned by Nat, customers eat produce that need to be weighed for a proper charge. If you munch on some grapes and then have the bunch weighed after the fact, you’ve effectively brought down the weight, and total cost of the grapes, during your shopping trip.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Nat via TikTok comment for further information.

The Daily Dot