A 20-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly licking his fingers and wiping them on supermarket products.
The man reportedly wiped his saliva on an item at the Lidl store on St Andrews Road in Bridport, Dorset at around 2pm on Friday.
Dorset Police said the man entered the store wearing a face mask and gloves and was seen to lower the mask and lick his fingers before “purposefully” rubbing them on a product in the store.
The force said following inquiries, the individual was arrested and charged with an offence of contaminating or interfering with goods with intent under Section 38 of the Public Order Act 1986.
He is due to appear before Weymouth Magistrates’ Court on May 6.
Dorset Police said the suspect did not have a confirmed case of Covid-19 and was not displaying any symptoms.
Lidl has been forced to take several emergency measures to protect staff and customers from coronavirus in recent weeks.
Late last month the budget supermarket announced it would be giving out safety visors to its in-store employees to help protect against coronavirus infection.
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It also announced that it will be installing safety screens at checkouts across the country to protect store colleagues and customers.
The chain has also created around 2,500 new jobs to provide necessary support to its workforce and customers during the coronavirus crisis.
Lidl Great Britain CEO, Christian Hartnagel, said: “We’re committed to ensuring our colleagues and customers feel safe, which is why we’re providing all stores here in Great Britain with safety visors.
“We are eternally grateful to all of our store teams who are working hard every day to support their communities. And, we would once again like to thank customers for their consideration during this very challenging time.”