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15+ Of The Darkest Grocery Store Secrets You’ll Wish Weren’t True

Ah, grocery stores. They're a pretty big part of our weekly lives. Whether you're an impulse shopper or a coupon connoisseur, you spend a lot of time in grocery stores.

But do you know what happens behind the scenes of your grocery trips? Do you even want to know?

Grocery store employees took to Reddit to share some of the darkest secrets that grocery stores hold.

The Mystery Smell

Unsplash | Hanson Lu

@tinak790 recalls an awful smell in the grocery store they worked at. When one of the aisles was finally cleaned out, they found a giant rat's nest under a shelving unit. They describe it as "one of the most disgusting things ever."

An Apple A Day

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This one's not as gross when you think about it, but it's still weird.

Apparently apples can be stored in proper conditions for close to a year and still be sold at the supermarket. So apples that you buy now could be apples grown last year.

Made Fresh

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One person who used to work in a retail bakery admits that everything they made was baked from frozen. Nothing was made from scratch.

"We just bake it or thaw them out before putting them on the shelves. Cakes are pre-made; we just put on the icing and decorations."

Dedication To Customer Service

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Has a grocery store employee ever told you that they'll check for extra stock of something in "the back"? Asking about it might just waste time for both of you.

"If you ask an employee to check in the back for a product, nine times out of 10 they just walk back there, wait a couple minutes, and walk back out to tell you they don’t have any more."

One Big Family

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One Redditor claims that every grocery store in existence has animals like mice, roaches, and flies somewhere in the building.

"Just because you don't see them doesn't mean they aren't there."

A Trick Of The Ear

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Don't you just love it when your bop from your youth comes on while your grocery shopping? Grocery stores know you love it too.

One person claims that "stores often play nostalgic music in hopes it will make customers think of better times, encouraging them to buy more products."

Double Check Your Dates

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Check those expiry dates folks: apparently a lot of products in grocery stores expire on the shelf and go unnoticed for a long time due to certain staff putting new product in front of old products.

Dinner Is Served

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We already know that most buffets are swimming with bacteria, but they're changed often, right?

Maybe not.

"It just isn’t feasible to make all that chicken salad and stuff every day" one person explains. "That sh** will sit out there for over a week before they make more. We were told to always lie to customers about the freshness of our food."

Hand Sanitizer Anyone?

Unsplash | Raquel Martínez

Someone revealed that the conveyor belt that you put your items on is "so, so, so dirty."

Is wearing rubber gloves while grocery shopping considered too weird?

Baskets Are The Better Option

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Apparently the only thing that washes a shopping cart is rain, and the grocery store employees haul a lot of garbage bags in them.

They're squeaky minus the clean.

Fake Rewards

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According to one grocery store employee, the rewards cards do absolutely nothing other than allow the store to collect your personal data.

Hmm. I wondered why my 2 billion points hadn't gotten me anything yet.

Bring On The Bribery

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One former employee says that grocery story managers are "prone to being bribed by businesses for slot space on shelves."

"My manager would get free stuff from Coke, Pepsi, Nestle, all sorts of big companies. They would offer him free Falcons tickets, flights to resorts all over the place, etc."

Waste And Waste And Waste

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Grocery Stores waste a lot of food. One Redditor explained that quality inspectors at grocery warehouses tear open bags, cut open fruits and veggies, and stick thermometers in meat and chicken, which all gets thrown away after it's tested.

In One Ear And Out The Other

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"I have worked in grocery stores for about 18 years.... I would say 95 - 98% of customer complaints just get ignored," a former employee admits. "When you say you will never come back, we don't believe you."

Down The Hole

Unsplash | George Pagan III

One employee's store had something called "the hole," a huge drain area where employees dumped out expired liquids and old nasty mop water.

Storm drains just got a whole lot creepier.

A-MAZE-ing Service

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Do you swear that your favorite crackers were at the end of aisle four, not aisle five? You're probably right.

A Redditor shared that things in grocery stores are occasionally moved to different spots to force customers to look around more.

Saving The Planet One Bag At A Time

Unsplash | Sophia Marston

According to one commenter, grocery stores don't actually recycle the bags of bags you bring back—they go right into the dumpster with the rest of the garbage.

So much for Earth Day I guess.

Just Peachy

Unsplash | Brigitte Tohm

At some grocery stores, peaches that are sold in open baskets were probably on the floor at some point, and the floor is usually covered in slime.

This one is just plain GROSS.

Maybe skip on the bananas


A grocery store employee graced us with this story about how "it's crazy how often giant spiders come out of banana boxes."

No. Thank. You.


Unsplash | Tyler Butler

Finally, one Redditor explained that when shipments of fruits and veggies come in, they are often accompanied by snakes. Lots of snakes.

At least we know that they were grown outside?

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