Is Your Grocery Store Really Clean?

Updated on September 8, 2016
kenneth avery profile image

Kenneth has been a member of HubPages for five years. He is retired from a 23-year career in the weekly newspaper business.

Vintage grocery store graphic
Vintage grocery store graphic | Source

Who does the grocery shopping in your home?

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The trademarks, Piggly Wiggly, Kroger, and A&P that appear in this piece are not for promotion of that chain or company, but strictly for creative purposes.


Violins, please

I remember a time in my younger, much younger life when my family and I would make a trip to the grocery store in Hamilton, Alabama. We did not live "in" Hamilton, but lived out in the country. And trips to the grocery store, the Yellow Front, was not a weekly trek, but sometimes once a month and personally, I thought that this trip was in the same thinking as going to Heaven.

I also remember how very crowded our town was on a Saturday for this was "bill paying," visiting, and grocery shopping day. The aroma of the Yellow Front was in a class alone--fresh, clean, and in this niceness was the distinct aroma of bologna by the stick and other great food aroma's.

These are just a few of the great memories I have of going grocery shopping at the Yellow Front with my parents on (the) Saturday chosen by my dad and mom. NOTE: I tried hard to find a vintage photo of (a) Yellow Front store, but failed. I apologize.

Remember pushing your first grocery cart?
Remember pushing your first grocery cart? | Source

We are all gullible

To some things that were around us, but unseen to our naked eyes. Namely, insects, faulty plumbing, and cracks in the meat cooler refrigerant lines. These things. We never would have left the store screaming in horror even if we had viewed one of these things that today, would cause a Health Dept. to shut the store down until the filthy things were removed.

This is how we as a people have progressed. Progressed is the correct word, right? Anyway.

Today I am so guilty of taking a trip to one of our local grocery outlets that I take these stores for granted. I really do. I hope that before I pass from this life, I will regain my appreciation for simple things like monthly trips to these stores.

But now as a public service to those of you who do the grocery shopping with blinders on, I am going to help you with a piece I am calling . . .

An early grocery store in our country
An early grocery store in our country | Source

A few more grocery store images

This iconic grocery store chain is still around
This iconic grocery store chain is still around | Source
Old general store circa 1918
Old general store circa 1918 | Source
Life in the 1950's  at a community grocer
Life in the 1950's at a community grocer | Source
Old general store in Tennessee
Old general store in Tennessee | Source
Penn's Store in Gravel Switch, Ky., has been run by the same family  since 1850
Penn's Store in Gravel Switch, Ky., has been run by the same family since 1850
Two women shopping at  an old A & P Grocery store  in the early 1950s
Two women shopping at an old A & P Grocery store in the early 1950s | Source

Your store is not really clean . . .

  • If all of the employees wear surgical masks, then shop for your groceries elsewhere. No questions asked.
  • If you instantly spot a huge tank of ammonia sitting in the corner of the store, you can bet that this store is hiding some form of filth.
  • You notice the Health Dept. rating sheet on the wall in plain sight and it reads in red: "Score so low we suggest that you grow your own food."
  • When you spot several deceased rodents in the aisles who were eating from a box of cereal.
  • When you see a wake of vultures gathered on the meat counter.
  • Some employees are being given CPR in the back of the store.
  • You pick up a carton of orange juice or milk and have to wipe the dust from your hands as you sit the carton inside your buggy.
  • A swarm of flies attack you in the produce section.
  • You almost vomit on yourself when you spy the skeleton of a dog that passed away in the dairy section. Well, at least it was not a human skeleton.
  • You discover that the rest rooms are THE cleanest areas of the store.
  • You pick up a can of peaches and cut your hand on the rust that has eaten away the top of the can.
  • The store manager resembles a cast member of "The Walking Dead."
  • The cashier who checks you out feels sorry for you and just tells you to, "hurry and pick up your bags and beat it."
  • The music playing over the Muzak system in the store is "Taps."
  • You cannot prove it, but you swear that you viewed the Grim Reaper choosing a stalk of bananas.
  • A beggar outside of the store is GIVING customers exiting the store money he has collected.
  • You call the Health Dept. to report some of these infractions and they threaten to have you locked up if you call them again.

These are but a few of the tip-off's for you to know that your grocery store is clean or not.
I would share more, but my stomach does not feel so well.

And a pleasant good night, Albertville, Alabama.

Some good old nostalgia . . .

Kroger print ads in the 1950's
Kroger print ads in the 1950's | Source

© 2016 Kenneth Avery


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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 17 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      LOL! That was a hilarious story. Only you could have

      shared something about a cat and raisin cookies.

      May God bless you, my friend.

      Please come back soon.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 17 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Amen! I have to lean toward you with your comment. I can walk with you down most any grocery store in 2016, and either you or I can find at least one dead something that is just overlooked or never picked up.

      Shameful if you ask me.

      Come back anytime.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 17 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Dear MizBejabbers,

      Ahhh, those Mom and Pop stores. Glad that you brought them up.

      I know of one that still exists in Pike Road, Alabama, a settlement

      out of Mayberry. Honest. I worked with a guy, Tracy Estes, who

      is now the news editor for the paper I retired from, and he once

      lived and worked in Montgomery, the capital of Alabama which is

      a rock's throw from Pike Road.

      The story goes that when we became friends and learned that he was a Mayberry freak like me, he kept talking about Pike Road and I did a Hub about that place many eons ago.

      The general store (in 1992) still stocked College Girl shoes, hoop cheese and bologna in sticks . . .I could have stayed there for good. Changed my name and still have a great time.

      You sparked those memories. And yes, death is peeking around everywhere today. No more lettuce for me thanks.

      And thanks, pretty lady, for the sweet comment.

      Write me anytime.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 17 months ago

      Years ago in the Mom and Pop stores, the old wood floors were cleaned with an oil mop, ice cream dippers were returned to the same water bath after each use, and gosh, I'm trying to think of something else, but that was too long ago. We never got food poisoning. Today we have to worry about death in a bag of lettuce.

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 17 months ago from Northern Ireland

      My local store seems to be clean but who knows? I remember going into the old stores and being allowed to help cut the cheese! Biscuits were on open display in tins and you picked out the ones you wanted into a paper bag. I do remember a couple of funny stories from long ago and living near a cafe that sold confectionery (candy). My sister bought a box of chocolate covered raisins but thought they tasted funny. She asked our granny who tasted them and went back to the shop. She told the owner they tasted funny, so he tried one, spat it out and said, "that d*mn*d cat again," and refunded the money.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 17 months ago from Home Sweet Home

      nope most grocery stores aren't clean.

      You can see dead flies in the freezer and fresh veggies department

      You can see rodents running across the shelves

      You can see dead cockroaches lying the corner of the pillars

      Yup, that are those stuff you see often