Police investigate after teens seen coughing on produce as part of prank

Police in Virginia asked parents to monitor their children's activities, as well as their social media posts during the COVID-19 outbreak, after a group of teens were seen filming themselves coughing on fruit and vegetables at a store.

File photo of produce section at a grocery store. Police in Virginia said teens reportedly recorded themselves coughing on produce at a grocery store, as part of a prank.

The Purcellville Police Department said it's investigating the incident which occurred at a local grocery store last Wednesday. 

Investigators said it appeared the action was part of a prank. 
"The grocery store immediately removed the items in question, and has taken appropriate measures to ensure the health of store patrons," police said.

A review of the recording determined the teens did not directly spit or cough on customers or the produce, according to investigators.

But they called on parents to keep an eye on their kids and discourage such behavior, noting similar action appeared to be a "disturbing trend" on social media across the country.  

"Please talk with your children and explain to them why such behavior is wrong, especially given the current situation regarding the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19)," the Purcellville Police Department urged on its Facebook page. 

For the latest information on California's response to the outbreak, visit the state's department of health website here. You can also find further information on how to protect yourself from COVID-19 on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

This story was reported from Oakland, Calif.