20 Times People Shared Eye-Opening Facts About The Food Industry’s Dark Side

Published 1 year ago

The food industry plays a vital role in our lives, providing sustenance and nourishment. However, behind the shelves of supermarkets and the enticing packaging lies a dark underbelly of the food industry.

Someone recently asked the Ask Reddit community “What dark facts do you know about the food industry?” From unethical practices to health concerns, folks revealed disturbing facts that may leave a poor taste in your mouth. Scroll below to read some of those answers.

More info: Reddit

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Image source: SavemebabyK, Faran Raufi

It’s more like a misleading labeling. No sugar. Right? Wrong if you read ingredients on a lot of these packaging it will say things like maltodextrin and dextrose. That’s actually a sugar. Because of regulation they only have to label it no sugar and people think it’s healthy, etc.


Image source: ItsGotToMakeSense, Andrea Piacquadio

1. Your server might be working while sick. They don’t get paid time off and most restaurant managers flip their s**t if someone calls out, so instead of missing their rent this month they just chug Dayquil to hide the symptoms. Could by a cold, COVID, who knows?
2. The ice maker could have mold growing in it and nobody would know. I’ve never seen a restaurant clean one, ~~except for the rare instances where some dipshit drops a stack of glasses near it and they have to melt the ice to pick out the shards.~~ (actually scratch that, it doesn’t mean they clean the maker itself; just the basin)
3. The nozzles for the soda fountain might be moldy and slimy too; some restaurants clean these as part of their side work, some don’t. You’ll never know.
4. Your server, if female, has almost certainly been sexually harassed by someone on the staff.



Image source: Zastrow_Studios, Kevin Butz

The amount of waste thrown away every single day by grocery stores. I worked in the meat department of a decently sized grocery store and the waste their was nauseating. I s**t you not, we would throw away an industrial sized garbage bin worth of meat, fish, and poultry every single day. The expiration dates dictated everything which is obviously a sensible policy to have, but they wouldn’t do anything about it. They wouldn’t donate it, let employees take it home, or make adjustments to the orders so we wouldn’t have to throw so much away. The reasoning was always “better have to much than not enough” which I guess makes a little sense, but when I am throwing away dozens of pounds of tenderloins, center cut fish and shellfish per night, its to much. Mind you, this is one department of one grocery store.

Sorry for the rant but I feel like it needed to be said.



Image source: AdParking2320, Pixabay

After Chernobyl Nestle bought up all the milk that was unsuitable for human consumption in the EU. They powdered it and sold it to developing nations as baby formula.



Image source: vfz09, Jo-Anne McArthur

that the fishing industry is destroying the oceans. its so horrible how much ‘by-catch’ is things like sharks, dolphins etc that die for no reason. also tuna are an endangered species bc of the fshing industry



Image source: patchway247, Rodrigo Flores

They crush roaches when crushing chocolate beans. Too much work, not enough time.

More than most likely if you have a reaction after eating, it’s due to the bugs



Image source: BakedShef, HomeSpot HQ

Chef from America, you don’t even want to know. I’m going to be honest, I just assume now that if I don’t make it with my own 2 hands, it’s not safe to eat. I’ve seen everything from plastic wrap, to sweat, to mold, to cleaning acids be served to people. And there’s more than that… that’s the arguably less nasty things.

Obviously that’s untrue, not every single thing you eat is unsafe. Probably not half, maybe half if you eat a lot of fast food, but for sure 20% of it… anyway, you just never know and I’ve seen way too much. I don’t trust restaurants, be it fast food or fine dining, unless I know someone who works there and they tell me it’s fine.

Edit : I’ll tell you, maybe, the worst thing I’ve “seen” and I’ll tell you where it happened. I’ve worked sports bars, steakhouses, Mediterranean restaurants and fine dining. You know which one takes the cake? Buffalo Wild Wings in WV, which really depresses me because I used to love getting amped on coke, watching UFC fights and getting that Asian Zing. My wife’s a server and typically prefers the sports bars, no s**t, she saw them use a microwave that had cockroaches crawling in and out of it, behind it, under it. That was one of their biggest things they used. Rat nest in the bathroom ceiling. Guess what? They passed their health inspection. So I guarantee it’s still like that.



Image source: FightStageYouTube, Daian Gan

Sometimes the salads aren’t bug free. There were times where I received c**p for taking too long washing lettuce. Staff would wash a large container of lettuce like once or twice. I did it 3 or 4 times. I didn’t stop until the water was clear and had no bugs. The others had a “who cares” attitude.

One time my boss needed my help and said to me frustrated, “The lettuce is already washed, unpack it in salads quickly.” The lettuce looked dirty so I said to myself “I can’t sell this to people.”

I washed it and guess what the water looked like.

Dark brown from soil, 50+ dead gnats, a living and swimming spider the size of a penny.



Image source: Wooden_Potential_699, Naim Benjelloun

In my country, buffets often sell spoiled food, like if the employees see mold on top of the sour cream, they just scrape it down and continue selling it. Also, if they sell cooked meat, they often leave them on the counter for days and add some oil to it every morning to look fresh.



Image source: Zealousideal_Lie_383, khats cassim

The deep fryer grease is long overdue for a change; but it’s expensive to do so nightly.



Image source: PhilipLiptonSchrute

You’d never want to eat at a restaurant again once you saw how much of your $70 meal for two came frozen and pre-prepared in plastic bags.


Image source: Mugroid, Gül Işık

Former chef here.
Never send send food back unless of course the chicken is still raw sorta problem

The daily specials are fridge clean outs.

Don’t order fish on a Tuesday unless the establishment is a seafood restaurant

Last but not least try not to alter the menu and food to suit your taste. Chefs and owners work hard to create menus and recipes and get very upset when you ask for no ham in the chicken cordon bleu.



Image source: -Plunder-Bunny-, CHUTTERSNAP

Grocery distribution warehouses are often extremely filthy and rarely cleaned. Wash anything canned, bottled or jarred!!! They’re filthy as hell, covered in microplastics, rotten food, mouse pee, bird s**t, etc etc.

I used to do maintenance on conveyor systems for a major US chain and they just send s**t flying down the conveyors so fast that, its fairly common for glass to shatter because of the vibrations, food to fall off, etc etc. I saw Bats, Birds and Mice in that facility, but it was within tolerance of their health policy. Also saw people that were sick sneezing and coughing on products.

Never saw a floor scrubber go through the warehouse the entire 3mo I worked there and I was doing alternating double shifts! The only time I saw a broom was if there was shattered glass.



Image source: Zealousideal_Lie_383, Sandsun

Worse I participated in as kitchen staff in a rather top-flight restaurant….. on a slow summer Sunday afternoon, the boss sent us down to the walk-in meat coolers to spray paint the rusted walls. We were instructed to not remove the contents of cooler first; rather just shift the meat from one side of cooler to other. The coat of silver spray paint will comeoff during cooking



Image source: SereniaKat, Aleksey Nosov

Chocolate can have up to 60 insect parts per 100g and still be approved as safe for consumption by the FDA in the US.



Image source: airwalkerdnbmusic

Pub basements are often absolutely disgusting and vermin can be seen running around. Nobody seems to care unless you are a CAMRA registered pub and even then you might only get inspected once in a blue moon.



Image source: Lahk74, Alan Hardman

Worked in a pepperoni factory 20+ years ago as an accountant. Found that the more MSP in the bill of materials, the lower quality and cheaper the product. Looking at the stuff, it looked kind of like an old square crumbly eraser if you remember those.

So I asked what MSP was. It’s “mechanically separated pork”. When I asked what that means, they told me that after all the good meat is cut off of a pig, a power washer is used to blast the remaining flesh off the carcass. That’s scooped up, dried out and packaged as MSP.

Enjoy your next cheap pepperoni pizza.



Image source: KeyStoneLighter

Worked in the food industry for a couple years, all I can think of is how gross arbys roast beef looks in its bag before it’s cooked, just google it, hasn’t changed in 30 years.



Image source: Zealousideal_Lie_383, Petr Magera

Your green salad lettuce has been floating in a trash-can sized bucket containing a mixture of water and some chemical that keeps it crisp.



Image source: Zealousideal_Lie_383, Ruslan Khmelevsky

Escargot. Ugh. Be wary.

Those exotic looking shells are reused many times. After being sent through the dishwasher, sometimes extra care is taken to make sure the soap hasn’t settled inside the shell.

The snail meat itself comes from a can and is stuffed into the shells.



Saumya Ratan

Saumya is an explorer of all things beautiful, quirky, and heartwarming. With her knack for art, design, photography, fun trivia, and internet humor, she takes you on a journey through the lighter side of pop culture.

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dark facts, dark facts about food, dark secrets about food industry, food, food industry
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