Grocery Store: Facts That'll Surprise You

Going to the grocery store is one of the most ordinary things. However, you have no idea what's going on behind the scenes. The facts will surprise you!

Cashiers always check the egg carton at the checkout.
Source: IMAGO / Panthermedia

Our daily routine usually includes a visit to the grocery store. Whether we forgot to get toilet paper or want to buy fresh vegetables for a healthy stew, roaming around the supermarket is one of those basic things in life we don't even question anymore. Sometimes, we experience fails while shopping, but mostly the shopping experience is pretty smooth. However, there's a lot going on behind the scenes of supermarkets, a lot more than you might think! These facts will surprise you:

Have you ever noticed that cashiers check egg cartons at the checkout? You probably think: "How nice of them to make sure that none of the eggs are cracked!" You – we all – couldn't be more wrong!

Here's why they really take a look at the eggs:

An egg carton is a good place to hide something.
Source: IMAGO / agefotostock

Have you ever wondered about the things you could do with an egg carton? We don't mean all the fun DIY things you can use the carton for, no. In the grocery store egg cartons offer plenty of space for hiding things, and for smuggling them out of the store.

Supermarket operators are aware of this fact, which is why cashiers are expected to check every single egg carton they cash out. What might they find inside? Anything that fits, whether that's chocolate bars, a piece of ginger or a lighter. Checking the egg carton is by no means supposed to serve the costumer. It's simply a technique to make sure nothing leaves the store that hasn't been paid for.

Once you're back home, the next question arises – where should you put the eggs? Some put them in the fridge right away, others store them in a kitchen shelf. Which one is right?

Eggs have a natural protective layer.
Source: IMAGO / Andia

Most refrigerators come with an in-built egg holders in the upper half of the door. It's only logical to store eggs there, right? We have an argument against it, though: Have you noticed that eggs aren't refrigerated in the grocery store? Furthermore, the carton reveals another hint. You'll find two dates on it, one tells you when it's time to put the eggs into the fridge.

In many countries in Europe, eggs aren't being washed before they are transported to grocery stores. In this case, the eggs have a natural protective layer that seals the eggs – this means, bacteria can't get inside it. In the US, however, eggs are usually washed which means you should store them in the fridge right away. This way, you prevent bacterial growth on and in the egg.

You should be aware of the next fact too:

Sometimes, cashiers ask customers to open their bags for them.
Source: IMAGO /

Are Cashiers Allowed to Look Inside Your Bag?

Have you ever been asked to reveal the contents of your bag pack or jute bag? You're not actually required to allow cashiers a look inside your bag. Only the police is allowed to do that. If you're happy to open your bag, though, the cashiers aren't doing anything wrong by taking a peek.

The next fact will be useful to know:

Some shopping carts have a bow that has a useful function.

Why Do Shopping Carts Have That Bow?

Have you ever noticed a bow on the back of the cart's child seat? You probably already guessed that it's used to hang bags, but do you know what's really practical about it? You can store items like bottles in there, which would otherwise annoyingly roll up and down your cart. Mystery solved!

Speaking of useful hacks: Did you know that the McDonald's french fry box flap has a specific function?

Hardly anyone knows why many shopping carts for children have a litte flag.
Source: IMAGO / Steinach

Why Are Children's Shopping Carts Equipped With a Long Flag?

Kids love to play pretend with them, parents appreciate them because with them their kids don't dump every candy they see in the "real" shopping cart: children's shopping carts. Most adults think that the long flag most of these caddies are equipped with have the purpose of making it easier to find kids again, should they have wandered off. However, the real reason behind it has nothing to do with the safety of kids: Its purpose is to make the shopping cart theft-proof, since, with the long flag, the shopping carts can't fit into car trunks. Who would have guessed!

Opening shampoo bottles in grocery stores to smell them is technically not allowed.
Source: IMAGO / Panthermedia

Opening Shampoos to Smell Them

Granted, we've all done that before, right? We obviously want to make sure that we like the smell of the shampoo, showering gel or deodorant we're about to buy! Usually, that's alright, however, you have to ensure that the packaging isn't damaged in the process. It happens very quickly, for example when you squeeze it. If you can no longer close it, you should be fair and buy it.

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