A recent Facebook Live video that purportedly shows an Ohio Walmart needlessly throwing away a large amount of food, ginning up criticism of the store online, has been cleared up as a misunderstanding.
In the Nov. 6 video, Facebook user Gary Joe Ahrns shows shopping carts and dumpsters full of food products outside of a Walmart in Celina, Ohio, and lambasts the store for throwing out food that had not expired.
"They won't let employees have it," Ahrns said in the video, which has been viewed nearly 10 million times. "They won't sell it to anybody else. They're throwing it away."
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Walmart responded that the food had to be discarded after a tornado caused a 14-hour power loss at the store.
“Unfortunately, due to a tornado that affected our store in Celina, Ohio on November 5, the food being disposed of was unsafe to eat after the store lost power for 14 hours,” Walmart said in a statement, first reported by fact-checking website Snopes. “Per internal and health department policies, we followed proper procedures by disposing of the food.”
In the six-and-a-half-minute video, Ahrns demands an explanation from a man who appears to be a manager of the store. The man, wearing a Walmart uniform and a nametag that reads "Nick," said that they could not sell the discarded products but does not mention the power loss.
Ahrns interrogates other employees about the food, asking several times if he can take some of it home, but they say he cannot.
Nearly 20,000 homes and businesses in Ohio were left without power after the Nov. 5 tornado, according to Weather.com.
Local news outlets corroborated reports of power outages due to the tornado. The Lima News, an Ohio daily newspaper, reported power loss around the city of Celina and the network WRGT Fox 45 noted that Walmart, among other businesses, was affected by the power outages.