This week, a Reddit thread asked grocery store employees to share all the dirty secrets that customers don't know about. The thread quickly went viral, as more and more employees started chiming in with their store's darkest secrets.
Here are some of the weirdest, grossest, and most shocking things that were shared:
1. "The only thing that washes a shopping cart is rain. And we do haul trash bags in them."
2. "The area under the aisles is usually infested with mice."
3. "Apples can be stored in proper conditions for close to a year and still be sold at the supermarket. So that apple you’re buying in May is most likely from sometime the year prior."
4. "My buddy works at a grocery store and he says it's crazy how often giant spiders come out of the banana boxes."
5. "Worked as a night stocker and the number one stolen thing was meat. Every night all over the store you'd find open packages of meat hidden everywhere."
6. "Grocery store managers are very prone to being bribed by businesses when it comes to getting more shelf space."
7. "I work in retail bakery. We don’t make anything from scratch. Everything comes in frozen. 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."
8. "We waste A LOT of food. When meat products are above a certain temperature, they get discarded immediately. I was once responsible for getting rid of over $100,000 worth of meat due to temperature."
9. "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."
10. "There are so many tricks grocery stores use to get you to buy more items. Ever wonder why sugary kids cereals are on the bottom shelves? It's so kids see them."
11. "Every grocery store in existence has some kind of animal presence in the store. It may be roaches, mice, or flies. Just because you don't see them doesn't mean they aren't there."
12. "Stores often play nostalgic music in hopes it will make customers think of better times. Think about that next time you visit a store and leave buying more than you intended."
13. "Oftentimes, the various waste bins are all just mixed together because the janitor sure as hell isn't digging out that bottle you threw in the compost. Everything just goes in the dumpster."
14. "The motorized carts get peed in a lot and they don't get cleaned. We run a cloth over it, but not like deep-cleaned."
15. "Products often expire on the shelf and go unnoticed for a long time due to certain staff putting new product in front of old products, and this applies to all departments."
16. "When you spill something, it costs us about $40+ to clean it up. We use very, very expensive absorbing powder. Still cheaper than a lawsuit though."
17. "Today’s skin-on chicken breasts are tomorrow’s skinless chicken breasts, because they start to turn green if not sold quickly."
18. "It just isn’t feasible to make all that chicken salad and stuff every day. That shit 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."
19. "One thing that I always hated was stocking the milk. When the milk gets delivered, every gallon is covered in milk from other open gallons in the stacks. The smell is terrible, and they’re never rinsed off."
20. "The ice cream and frozen food has probably completely melted or thawed multiple times from sitting on a dolly in the backroom."
21. "Be careful with grocery store delis. I had so many nasty coworkers who didn’t wash their hands or change gloves all day — if they wore gloves at all."
22. "If a customer asks me if I have an item in the back and it’s at the bottom of a pallet, I just say we don’t have it."
23. "The little bin where you can leave your plastic bags to 'recycle' them is a lie. They get thrown out with all the other garbage."
24. "The conveyor belt that you put your items on is so, so, so dirty."
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.