Can You Legally Open Food and Eat It While Shopping in Texas?
We all know it’s not a good idea to go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. You’re going to end up buying way more than you ever thought. But, what about just opening the bag of chips now. You’re going to pay for it anyway, can you do that in Texas? Or is opening food and eating it prior to paying for it against the law in Texas?
While it might seem like the easiest answer ever, think about this. What about a young baby who is hungry for a snack but the shopping trip is going to take about 20 more minutes? There are a few different factors to consider when deciding whether this is a criminal act or not.
Opening Food Is Shoplifting, Kinda
According to Find Law, to be considered shoplifting you need to take possession of an item being offered for sale and intent to permanently deprive the item’s owner without paying for it. Opening a snack in the store is essentially taking possession of it, but that doesn’t mean you’re permanently going to not pay for the item. So, it might depend on the policy at that particular store.
You Must Be Careful on the Item Too
If you open a bag of chips the cost of that item stays the same. But if you take bulk candy from bins that you pay for depending on the weight, it might become impossible to know how much you truly owe to the store.
Most likely no store manager is going to call the police if you open a bag of chips before you get to the register, but it’s always a good idea to know the store’s policy. Or just wait until you pay for it to get yourself a snack.