FACT CHECK: Did Publix Sell Hurricane Ian-Themed Cakes?
An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows Hurricane Ian-themed cakes being sold at a Publix in Florida.
The image dates back to Hurricane Dorian in 2019, according to Twitter. A spokesperson for Publix confirmed grocery chain no longer makes hurricane-themed cakes.
Hurricane Ian made landfall Sept. 28 in Florida as a Category 4 storm with 150 mile per hour winds, according to Bloomberg News. President Joe Biden and Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis teamed up to spearhead recovery efforts in the state, The Associated Press reported.
The Facebook image features six hurricane-themed cakes with the phrases. “GO AWAY” and “Leave Florida Alone” are written in icing, while the image’s caption reads, “Hurricane Ian cake Publix.”
The photos predate Hurricane Ian. There are no credible news reports to suggest Publix sold hurricane-themed cakes in preparation for Hurricane Ian. No such product is advertised on its website or its verified social media pages.
A keyword search reveals the image is from 2019, when Hurricane Dorian hit. Publix received social media backlash after they made hurricane-themed cakes ahead of both Hurricane Dorian and Hurricane Irma at the time, the Tampa Bay Times reported. The grocery chain responded to a Twitter user who deemed the hurricane cakes as being in “poor taste,” according to the outlet.
Hi, thank you for your feedback on the cakes. It is never our goal to offend anyone with the products we offer and I apologize that we let you down. Individual locations did make some of the hurricane cakes you’ve seen and I will personally share your feedback on this cake design
— PublixHelps (@PublixHelps) August 29, 2019
Maria Brous, Publix’s director of communications, confirmed that hurricane cakes are no longer available at the grocery chain following a policy change to not make light of natural disasters, according to Yahoo.com. (RELATED: Did Animals Escape From A New Jersey Zoo When Remnants Of Hurricane Ida Passed Through?)
Hannah Herring, Publix’s Media Relations Manager, reiterated the policy in an email statement to Check Your Fact. “It is our company policy to not produce bakery cakes that would make light of a natural disaster. We have sent communications to our stores reminding them of our policy,” she said.
Misinformation regarding the impact of Hurricane Ian has been widespread on social media following its landfall last month. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim suggesting to show a shark swimming on a flooded Florida highway.