Is It Illegal In Texas To Eat Before Paying At The Grocery Store?
We've all done it. Grabbed a coke and popped the top while shopping around the grocery store. Maybe even a snack. Sometimes, the string cheese is just staring at you from the cart, begging you to give it a little taste. Or, perhaps you're doing your Saturday shopping with a hungry toddler that simply cannot wait until you get to the car.
So, is it illegal in Texas to eat before paying at the grocery store?
According to FindLaw.com, it all really depends on your intent. If you are having a snack in the store, and you save the label to pay for it when you leave, you're probably going to be just fine. On the other hand, if you are enjoying something yummy, and then discarding the packaging on a random shelf in the store, with zero intent to purchase it, that's definitely stealing.
They also mention that the type of food products you are consuming in the store could potentially be a problem. Say you pick up something that is priced by the weight of the item, and then munch a little off the top and try to pass it for the weight it is after you've already eaten some. That is definitely stealing.
It also looks like it's up to the store's discretion. Most employees will probably not bat an eye if you are taking a swig out of your bottle of water before paying for it. Just make sure you never leave the store with an item you haven't paid for. That's 100% stealing, but I don't need to explain that to you. You're a good guy, and you don't steal. Right? Good deal.
The best policy is probably not to go grocery shopping while you are hungry or thirsty. I made that mistake recently. I went shopping while I was insanely parched, and ended up with a refrigerator full of drinks and very little food. Whoops.