With the coronavirus pandemic still very much far from over, it’s incredibly important to be as clean as possible. While we should be avoiding public places as much as we can, sometimes you have to go to the grocery store, for instance, and you rely on staff to ensure the premises are sanitized. That definitely wasn’t happening at one supermarket in Toronto, Canada, where a male employee was caught cleaning baskets with his own spit.
- The incident took place at a FreshCo store. A video shot by shopper Marta Casimiro seemed to show the employee cleaning a shopping basket used by customers with a cloth that was saturated with his own spot. The incident left Casimiro feeling “sick,” and I have to say that I feel the same.
- Her original intention was just to show the manager the lack of cleanliness. Talking to CityNews, Casimiro said that her original purpose for videoing the store was that she noticed the baskets were dirty when she first entered the store and wanted to show the manager. Instead, she caught the worker spitting on his cloth, using the cloth to clean the baskets, and then going along with his day. Insane!
- The worker didn’t just wipe down the baskets. Casimiro said she saw the man wiping down the shopping carts with the same rag, adding, “I couldn’t believe that. I was in shock…I feel sick.”
- The manager wasn’t interested. While the manager wasn’t on duty the day she was at the shop, Casimiro said she called back the next day and was totally brushed off by the manager of the store, who told her that he wasn’t interested in seeing the video and basically accused her of lying. “The [manager] protects his worker. He said he didn’t want to see the video. He didn’t believe me and he treated us very badly,” she recalled of the July 6 call.”
- The cleaner was eventually suspended. Casimiro refused to let the incident go and eventually went to higher-ups in the company. While their response was slow, they did eventually suspend the cleaner. “We cannot allow such things to be overlooked. I’m furious and very disappointed,” she said. “We are living in a pandemic…how do you think we feel? This is terrorism for me.”
- Sobeys, the company that owns FreshCo, later issued a statement. They claimed the man in question worked for a third party cleaning company and that he no longer worked in that location. Jacquelin Weatherbee, the Vice President of Communications and Corporate Affairs, called the incident “absolutely reprehensible,” adding, “[It is] completely against the standards we work so hard to achieve in our stores each day. 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.” An internal investigation is said to be ongoing.