In Manhattan, a man created quite a stir when he began eating from a Whole Foods hot bar using his hands.
Most unsettling for many was the employees’ behavior.
A photo editor from The New York Post happened to be nearby and chose to capture footage of the man, who they assumed to be homeless, digging into the foods occasionally without using any of the provided utensils.
People online were upset by the man’s actions.
Someone might eat from those foods later without realizing someone has touched them.
However there is no way to know if the man was homeless, mentally ill or mentally impaired or both as no one is seen interacting with him.
In the video, Whole Foods employees just watched and laughed as the man ate.
Jesus Christ, dude.
— 𝗕𝗿𝗮𝗱𝗹𝗲𝘆 (@BromonaQuimby) December 31, 2019
This is absolutely disgusting. There is nothing funny about it.
— Average Jane (@dox4425) December 31, 2019
I’m totally grossed out. Homeless or not, nobody should have their hands in the food bar. Come on!
— Candice Giove (@candicegiove) December 31, 2019
The employees’ behavior was criticized both for their disregard for hygiene and their cruel treatment of the man.
Gross. Do something and stop this behavior @WholeFoods or lose business. I’m pretty certain that if I came in and started doing this someone on your staff would stop me. It’s a health hazard for your other customers.
— Gail Larson (@gaillarson) December 31, 2019
In response, a store supervisor told a reporter from The Post:
“I just throw out the tray, that’s our routine. We address the situation and throw the tray out and put a fresh one in the bar.”
A shopper named Jay was not soothed, however.
“Ew. That’s pretty awful. If someone’s hands are in the salad bar and the staff is laughing, I don’t want to waste my money here.”
Not going back to @WholeFoods after reading this
— Ronaldo (@PujoDawgz) December 31, 2019
I would have paid for him! We need to help the unfortunate.
— Its Always Full (@ItsAlwaysFull1) December 31, 2019
The New York Post‘s article about the incident was also widely criticized for its extremely insulting tone towards the homeless man.
It's winter and a hungry man who lives on the street comes in for food. You watch, film, and write this nasty article about him. Why not offer him a hot meal which in turn would help him, the other customers and even the store. https://t.co/EY0AezzSV8
— Wanderlust Hearts (@WanderlustHrts) December 31, 2019
— robert cataldo (@Cataldo7Robert) December 31, 2019
The disparaging way the .@nypost describes this hungry homeless man makes me sad for the society we live in.
Next time, buy him lunch. https://t.co/MSW25Ha9LD
— Chris Staiti (@realStaiti) December 31, 2019
One thing is certain: for public health reasons, no one should be allowed to eat from a buffet with their bare hands.
— Lexington QM (@ThirskyQM) December 31, 2019
Both the store employees and The Post could have handled this situation in a much better, compassionate way.