Grocery Store Secrets

By xerocube | July 3, 2007

Over at, there is an article details 10 secrets of the grocery industry that they’d rather you not think about. Most of it is common sense, but it’s interesting to have it spelled out for you.

10 Things Your Grocery Store Doesn’t Want You to Know – MSN Health & Fitness

9. The salad bar can make you sick. Raw produce at the salad bar, pre-made salads at the deli counter and other pre-cooked prepared foods all have the potential for harboring harmful bacteria (like E. coli, salmonella and Norovirus). “The biggest contributors to unsafe food are foods that are held at unsafe temperatures, handling of food by individuals with poor hygiene, and refilling partially used containers of perishable food with fresh food,” says Michael Doyle, Ph.D., director of the Center for Food Safety and Quality Enhancement at University of Georgia.

This is something that I have just failed to think about when I walk through the deli section. Ugh…

Anyway, give this article a read and just keep some of these things in mind.

Topics: Life, Misc. | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Grocery Store Secrets”

Christian Says:
July 3rd, 2007 at 9:52 am

I’d definitely take that article with a grain of salt. It’s obviously written to be anti-supermarket, so read it as such.

For example, four of the ten points have to do with putting products in places where people are more likely to buy extra items. I’m not sure what’s wrong with that; it’s good marketing practice. Nobody’s forcing me to buy the extra-large bucket of cookies just because it’s sitting on an endcap. If you end up buying extra groceries because of their placement, it’s because either you don’t plan well or you’re weak-willed.

I end up with maybe 5-10% “unexpected” groceries when I do my weekly shopping, because I plan out what I want before getting in the car, and I don’t make many impulse purchases.

The rest of the article is more or less accurate, if a lot of it is common sense. Yes, the more a food item is processed, the more it’ll cost. What a surprise. Some people are willing to pay the extra premium to not have to peel their shrimp or grill the meat that’s going onto their five-minute preparation chicken salad. I don’t think it means they’re being “suckered”.

The thing about the coliform bacteria made me laugh, though. That stuff is EVERYWHERE — door handles, chairs, the mouse you’re touching at this very second. While it can be an indicator of spoiling food, most of it is not the stomach-turning E. Coli variant.

xerocube Says:
July 3rd, 2007 at 1:50 pm

Agreed — I forgot to append the obligatory “grain of salt” verbiage.

One thing I hate is paying unreasonable premiums for simple tasks. I’ll save my $1.50 and cut my own carrots or chop my own romaine. Why should I pay someone else to wield a knife.

As for the bacteria thread… the statement that made me think was the whole “child’s bottom being where my broccoli is sitting.” Some potent visuals went through my head while reading that, and made me not want to but fresh veggies (or non-bagged veggies) on that front little seat.