Grocery Store Employees Reveal What We Should Know Before Our Next Shopping Trip

Double coupons aren't going to help out here.

There are certain informative facts in life we maybe don't want to know; information that makes you think... "I'd rather you not tell me that!" Of course that type of information is the most important and we should be aware so we're prepared. For instance, food shopping, we all have to do it. Whether we're physically doing it or paying fresh direct, we all rummage for our home sustenance. And recently some grocery store employees felt we should be made aware of a few things, from shopping with more smarts to what places to just skip all together.

Redditor u/Member-Chewbacca wanted everyone to be prepared before the sojourn for groceries by asking.... Grocery store workers of reddit, what is something you know that we probably shouldn't know?

Lettuce Kills...


Your green leaf lettuce was full of spiders and various other insects before we cleaned them. Pretty sure we got all of them. MiikeCan

I need medical assistance. MrFrazzleFace

Wash more than your produce... 

You really need to clean the lids of cans before you open them. Truly. damelavenganza

This right here is super important, and not many people realize just how dangerous this can be, after Hurricane Maria, lots of people got sick cuz of rat/mouse pee thing due to uncleaned cans. Zundernietzsche

Such a Waste.... 

I used to work in a produce section of a grocery store back in the day. So much of the food gets thrown out as soon as it's no longer aesthetically in its prime. gpecho19

Freshness vs. appearance can be tough. Rotten food is usually ugly, but ugly food isn't necessarily rotten. I'll pass on the strawberries that have mold in the bottom, but a wonky looking sweet potato can still make some good fries. gpecho19

Hand Jobs....

We touch everything. Everything. All the cans, bottles, jugs, jars, snacks - everything you see stocked on the shelves has had at least 5 people touch it already. And we don't wash them. That's your job. Literally had a dude complain that I picked up his soda to bag it by the neck. Like, this is how I pick up every soda bottle? What do you think happens? They just float up to the shelf magically? Mr_Archer1216

Enjoy your grab....


As cashiers, we were trained not to stop shoplifters. We could literally watch you carry something out of the store, and we couldn't run after you or tell you to stop. ferociousBirdThing

Meat is off the Diet! 

I worked in the meat department at a higher end grocery store.

The marinated meat was meat that was old, but not bad. Old meat that was about to go bad was mixed in with the ground meat, either sold as is or made into sausage. It was suggested we tell customers the "best" option was what was going to go bad soon or what we had plenty of so we didn't run out.

None of these things are bad or wrong. It is how we minimize food waste, and how we minimize wasting the meat provided by ending a life. ullric

We've Been Swindled! 

Buy the store brand/off brand basics, (milk, eggs, flour etc) It's literally the same exact thing from the same exact place as the more expensive brand name stuff. When I worked at a grocery store, we would occasionally get products with a label from from another store mixed in with our stuff. Also quite a bit of store brand/brand name stuff is made at the same facilities (with differences in recipes) This is not always the case but it happens more often than you think. Shay_da_la

Save the Kids... 

Do not buy pic'n'mix. Those sweets have had so many grubby hands rifling through them, flies landing on them when kids didn't close the lids, probably sneezes on them... just don't do it. tragicworldrecord

The Bread and Butter... 

The single most profitable items in the grocery store is a bag of ice, and a loaf of bread from a bakery. Ice can have a 100% mark up, and bakery bread can be 90% mark up. People just don't understand where grocery stores make their money. ChiSoxguy01

So serve tequila with fish....


A good portion of whitefish fillets (maybe 40%) came to us with at least one worm curled up in them. We did our best to notice them and remove them, but some go unnoticed. That's just a product of living in the wild.

Also we talk about you after you leave if you were rude. Arr0wmanc3r

A Publix Star! 

I worked for Publix.

We are not as happy to be there as we seem. We are the Disney Land of grocery stores.

When hired you are literally hired as the "talent." F4ggotianne

A wasteland....

If you give the cashier anything to put back that's frozen, it is 100% going in the trash. In a very rare circumstance, someone is available to run it back to the freezers so it doesn't melt, but otherwise it just goes into our claims bin behind customer service. It sits there until someone empties the bin in a few hours and it goes to the back of the store where someone else marks it as unsellable and throws it away.

If you give us fresh produce, popsicles, frozen pizzas, ice cream, anything that we can't just set back on the shelf for whatever reason, it WILL be wasted. StrawberryR

We're Out! I'm Sure!


90% percent of the time when you ask us to look for something in the back, we already know we don't have it. aiecitay15

Cool Runnings....

Surprised I haven't seen this after scrolling a bit so I'll add it. This is true for most refrigerated products(yogurt, cheese, lunch meat, raw meat, lunchables, etc.) If the package is expanded its either been left out at some point and put back or is on the verge of going bad. Yogurt tops (the foil) should be slightly indented, not ballooning outwards. Same with lunchmeat packs or lunchable tops. LexieRae1172

Be Nice. 

If you leave your cart in the parking lot, not in the corral, we all hate you on a deeply personal level.

The store is just disgusting. Clean everything when you get home. The people paid to clean after closing do not care and are trying to go home as quickly as possible.

Cashiers will notice you if you're buying condoms or pregnancy tests, even if they don't say anything. If you're rude, we will talk about you when you leave. Just please be nice. dryketchup

Crossing HEB off the list...

When I worked for HEB, the ripped meat packets would go back to meat market and reseal it and put it back on the shelf. You never know what kind of dirt from the belt that it may have been on. JunkBondJunkie

How Unfresh....

Everything in our bakery comes in frozen, even the few things we actually do bake in store come in as frozen dough first. People who have been ordering cakes or buying the Italian bread for years will sometimes decide to stop buying them when they find this out. Did they think the 3 people they see in the department baked the 3,000 products we stock on the shelves from scratch every day? Do they think there is an army of minimum wage workers hidden in the back lovingly kneading breads and whispering encouragements to cake batter as it goes into the oven? ohwowohkay

Recycle for Life... 

If every grocery store is like the one I worked at, the amount of waste they produce will negate pretty much any efforts you can make as an individual to combat climate change. Maybe my store was just terrible but everything went in the dumpster. I tried to recycle as much as I could but it's an uphill battle when the rest of the employees don't give a crap. McWhiskey

Past Due....


I would say check the expiration dates. Sometimes there is a fresher product right next to one that is about to expire. Also one time there was an apple pie that was apparently in the cooler since 2015 and was found in 2018. Gentlemon4

Cross Contamination.... 

We get our produce delivered on the same truck as we get our raw meat and fish. Not a huge deal to me but I always thought the vegans and vegetarians that shopped there would freak out if they found out our store worked that way. blurryrhombus


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