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People Are Sharing "Dirty Little Secrets" About the Food Industry & Some Are Horrifying

Here's what's really going on behind the scenes.

When it comes to menu items at restaurants and products that you find in grocery stores, those behind the brands may not want you to know certain things. That might be their secret recipes or signature practices. However, there are other tidbits that they'd rather keep from you because they might raise a few eyebrows, not to mention spark some serious health inspections. That was the kind of tea that was spilled when one person hopped onto Reddit to ask, "What is a 'dirty little secret' about an industry that you have worked in, that people outside the industry really should know?"

Accurate or not, some of the responses made claims that will make you cringe while others will leave you questioning whether or not you should be ordering certain things from restaurants or filling your cart with various items from the grocery store. Honestly, some of these "dirty little secrets" are downright gross.

Peanut butter trickery

smooth creamy peanut butter in jar

"…I used to work in a peanut butter factory, we produced about 25-30-ish different store brands ranging from very cheap to stupidly expensive, [but] we had a grand total of 3 recipes, chunky, not chunky and no additives," one Reddit user admitted.

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Dirty cans


"Wash the top of your cans," someone else wrote. "Mice poop on those things all the time while they are in warehouse or transit." Um, ew!

Touching food with bare hands

person holding fried chicken

"We touch your food with our hands. Weird. And yes, we wash them so often that they might fall off," another Reddit user admitted. Granted, they then added, "That, or you get a**sholes that wear gloves for 12 hours and never change gloves or wash their hands."

Moldy beer dispensers

beer glasses and dispenser

"When you go somewhere that has novelty beer dispensers that you and a group can take to your table, just know they are incredibly, incredibly difficult to clean thoroughly and there's probably mold in there," a person wrote while giving you a reason to pass on that next drink.

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The 5-second rule for meat

chopped raw meat in red crates

"More product hits the floor and then thrown back on the line than you know." If you're curious about how the Redditor knows this, the whistleblower added, "Source: worked in a meat packing plant."

Fast-food's lacking hygiene

restaurant worker cleaning

"Fast food, cleanliness gets overlooked to an extreme amount," a Reddit user claimed. "Cleaning things properly takes time, which means that is time that you're not making orders to sell to customers…"

Water-injected meat

raw beef

"The meat that you buy is up to 30% saltwater injected through tenderizer needles," someone else with icky insider knowledge wrote. "You have that beautiful steak that suddenly becomes an enormously beautiful steak while it is at the supermarket. After you prepare it, it will return to its original shape and content -7%"

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Old, iffy meat

ground beef

"I work as a butcher. If you go to any big chain (ex. Walmart, Kroger, Ralphs) grocery store and [buy] ground beef, you are getting weeks old meat, which is ground [and] then put in 50lbs bags," admitted another person who had info about iffy meat. "It's [dyed] bright red and smells like formaldehyde and death. It's then shipped across the country to the store you purchase from."

Shocking food waste

food in garbage

"Large grocery stores throw out thousands of dollars of usable, safe-to-consume food every day and then have the audacity to ask you to make a donation to help fight hunger at the register," one unimpressed shopper noted.

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"Psychological tricks"

woman looking at grocery shelf

"There is a lot of money spent every year that decides where specific items are placed on grocery store shelves," another person revealed to Reddit readers. "If you're at a grocery store that's part of a chain, and you look at a shelf and there's an item that's approximately at eye level, I guarantee you that the company that makes that item paid a lot of money to put them there. There's lots of weird psychological tricks that go on in terms of how stores are laid out."

Desirée O
Desirée O is a freelance writer who covers lifestyle, food, and nutrition news among other topics. Read more about Desirée