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Oct 17, 2009 11:30 AM

Totally Disgusted at Supermarket--Am I too Finicky?

The store I patronize most is quite new and seems clean and in good condition. However, I was "grossed out" yesterday, because of two things.

First, the conveyor belt at the register I was in (only one open, btw, besides express because it was mid-day and the store wasn't busy) was (to me) filthy. I could tell it had some long stretches on which milk products had leaked. For whatever reason, it also had what looked like dust (I mean, a fairly thick layer) in other sections.

It really bothers me to any food on something like that, but especially things I don't cook--e.g., fruits, breads, dairy.

It took me a while to unload my cart because it was a major shopping. Unfortunately, I didn't notice because I was busy that the bagger put all my bags on the floor in the aisle where people walk. I don't know why, because there was room in the bagging area of the counter. I can't stand that. Maybe I'm too particular, but most grocery store floors just don't seem that clean to me, even in clean stores. You know, we have pets and while I consider myself to be a clean person, I'm not sure anybody would want foods they won't be cooking to be set down where I have walked, after I've walked where my animals walk (especially cats, who, after all, use a litter box). I thought about that and then multiplied it times probably hundreds of people walking in that aisle during the day.

You know what I mean, or would these things not bother you?

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    1. re: small h

      TY, small h; I'll go check it out.

    2. You feel the way you feel, but since you asked, I think you're being overly finicky. There's a bag between the food and the floor, right? And you're going to wash your fruits and veggies before you eat them, right? Because you know, they grow in dirt, and then are harvested and handled by people who are working in the dirt, and then packed and shipped in warehouses that are pretty dirty, and then sit in the back of a store which is not as clean as the front, and then touched by who knows how many people of what degrees of cleanliness while on display. I think that setting your bag of apples on a not-to-clean belt should be the least of your worries.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        LOL. You've got a point re the dirt, Ruth. Probably a case of the dirt I *do* see bothers me much more than the dirt I *can't* see.

        I feel a little reassured, now that you've explained to me that my chances of contagion probably didn't increase much over a baseline grocery shopping expedition. ;-) Thank you.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          That was pretty much exactly what I was thinking, said much more eloquently than I could have managed.

        2. ok, you did say "put all my bags on the floor...." so the bagger put your BAGGED groceries on the floor!? and I am assuming that all the items in the bag were at least in a container themselves(at least one....sometimes multiple layers, which is infuriating itself but a matter for a later date....) so I dont see the problem here!?

          and as far as the dirty conveyor goes, if it were really gross like you described I would have no problem asking them to clean it real quick. I am with you that that would give me the heebie jeebies as well.

          1 Reply
          1. re: nkeane

            Re the belt, n, I try always to be polite, but I don't have any problem with being assertive about requests like that. I honestly don't know why I didn't yesterday--why it didn't occur to me. Next time I'll ask and solve the problem before it is one. ;-) TY for your thoughts on both topics.

          2. I never, but never, indulge in the food samples hawked at Costco or other markets/stores. I just feel that too many people have stood over, coughed or whatever too close to the food. I love eating out so I guess it's what I don't know won't hurt me kind of a mind set...crazy, I know.

            8 Replies
            1. re: Gail

              Well, if I've got a problem with my food bags setting on the floor, you *know* I'm not going to think you're crazy over this, Gail, LOL. I think some not appetizing things can happen in the back of the house in restaurants, true, but the number of people your prepared food would be less in a restaurant, I would think, than in a grocery store sample situation.

              1. re: Gail

                People's ideas of what are filthy and disgusting have very little relationship to the actual health hazard involved. For example, I read about an experiment once when they asked people about whether they would eat soup that had been stirred with a flyswatter. They asked several different variables (dirty, used but thoroughly cleaned, etc.) and a significant number of people said they would not eat soup that had been stirred with a brand new flyswatter right out of the package. Just the *idea* that the implement used to stir the soup was a flyswatter made it unclean.

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  Very true! For my daughter's (big cat lover) 18th Bday, I made her one of those "litter box cakes" know, in a plastic litter box, crumb topping like cat litter, log shaped tootsie rolls with "tapered ends"....the server was a new pooper scooper. It got lots of laughs to be sure. We all ate it- but I admit- it was a bit difficult at first! LOL

                  1. re: sedimental

                    No offense, sedimental, but I think that would remain *too* difficult for me to eat through the end of the party, LOL. I was doing fine...thinking, okay, I could handle the pseudo-litter...all I'd have to do is keep reminding myself it's a crumb topping, it's mind over matter, which I'm actually pretty good at generally...but those tootsie rolls are dealbreakers!


                    1. re: Normandie

                      No offense. I actually didn't eat the tootsie rolls- but the teenagers did! It was a real hit with that crowd!

                      1. re: sedimental

                        Oh, no offense taken, sedimental, I assure you. You sound like a fun group with good senses of humor. I know I would have enjoyed the party and watching you all eat that cake. Emphasis, "you all". LOL

                  2. re: Ruth Lafler

                    Stirring your soup with a fly swatter will surely relieve you of your 'pot luck' obligations for years to come.

                2. I am honestly shocked that bagged groceries would be placed on the floor. Why? In the stores I frequent, the bagged groceries go straight from the moving belt to sacks to cart.
                  I would be more worried about them being stepped on or tripped over than contaminated. If this is the best this store can do with purchased groceries which you have paid for, go elsewhere.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: sueatmo

                    I'm sorry, sue. I thought I had it explained it clearly in my OP, but probably not. It took ME a long time to unload my cart, so it wasn't available to the bagger. However, as I noted, the bagging area of the register was clear, so I have no clue why the bagger didn't at least put them there until space ran out.

                    This has not happened to me before in this store. To be honest, this bagger didn't exactly seem like a jewel. Never seen her there before. When you live out in the semi-boonies, you don't often have a lot of choices, when it comes to supermarkets to patronize. There are a couple others, but, frankly, I wouldn't eat their produce or meats. What I was really trying to do in getting opinions was figure out whether this is worth a little friendly chat with the manager.

                    1. re: Normandie

                      "What I was really trying to do in getting opinions was figure out whether this is worth a little friendly chat with the manager"

                      Always!! ---- While your concerns my seem petty to some they are not to you....By all means have a "friendly chat" with the Store Manager...not one of his/her subordinates. The issues you describe should not happen in a well run retail grocery store...