“Some hooligan had opened the OJ – This used to be such a great country. I don’t know what happened.”


“Dear PoPville,

Picture it: the Fourth the July 2015. I woke up, shuffled what’s-his-name out of my room so I could plan brunch with my loved ones, and got excited to celebrate America the way Jesus intended: with mimosas.

We popped on over to our local Safeway, the one by the Georgia Ave metro. We gathered supplies and merrily sauntered back to our apartment to put on some Dolly Parton and make a scrumptious brunch. For America.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a bottle of delicious orange juice with a broken seal. Some hooligan had opened the OJ, removed the protective safety seal, and did God-knows-what with it before putting it back on the shelf.

And this isn’t the first time it has happened! I bought tainted crunchy peanut butter once too. I don’t know why people are tampering with the food at Safeway, but shoppers should be extra careful to make sure the products they’re buying haven’t been opened by some roving pack of miscreants.

This used to be such a great country. I don’t know what happened.

Happy 4th! 🇺🇸👏🏼🇺🇸👏🏼🇺🇸”

35 Comment

  • I think the Prince is trolling us today…. first dogs with PTSD and now people who don’t have the common sense to check if things have been tampered with before they buy them. Here’s a hint – that’s why things have had Safety Seals since the 1980s.

    • Anonomnom

      Be fair – It was at least amusingly written!

    • Sometimes the safety seal is inside, though. I bought a carton of chicken stock (at the exact same Safeway as the OP) and as I was making my meal later in the week, I was talking, opening things up, didn’t even notice anything awry with the screw-off lid, but suddenly found myself face-to-face with a broken safety seal. YUCK! Who just opens up cartons of chicken stock?! So gross! I took it back, showed them the broken seal, and exchanged it for a new one.

  • justinbc

    My first ever job was working in the frozen food department at a Winn Dixie (grocery chain in the South). I knew lots of guys who would chill in the freezer room snacking on the ice cream products and then proceed to put them in the coolers for purchase. And that’s just the stuff I saw, who knows what they did when nobody was around. Definitely check the seals on anything you buy in a grocery store.

  • We once saw a woman at Harris Teeter open a jar of salsa, taste it with her finger, close it back up, and put it back on the shelf. She was presumably “taste testing” the product because she ended up buying it–but not the jar that she stuck her finger in. I guess she didn’t want to buy a tainted jar of salsa, but was okay with someone unwittingly buying it?

    We flagged down an employee who laughed it off as he threw away the opened jar. People.

  • “This used to be such a great country. I don’t know what happened.”

    There’s only one explanation for this. It’s Obama fault.

  • I had it happen with some mixed nuts at Target in Columbia Heights. Now I ALWAYS check for the safety seal. I use to think those things were annoying, but now I know one of the reasons why they were invented.

    • After watching a pair of kids eat half of a pack of oreos at that Target with store employees nearby, I am also more careful with safety seals.

  • It sucks, but I chalk this up to “__it happens.” Ice cream seems to be the worse. Every once in a while I’ll open a pint and find a couple of finger scoops dug out. It’s not often enough, though, for me to stand at the cooler and pull lids off, looking like I’m the one doing the tampering!

    • “Every once in a while I’ll open a pint and find a couple of finger scoops dug out.”
      No joke, I’d probably eat around the finger scoops. When I have an ice cream craving, I will not be deterred.

      • Enjoy, but I’d just as soon lick the carpet in a Metro car. Love me some ice cream, but that’s pure ick.

  • I have even seen people “sample” the frozen yogert with their filthy fingers from the part that hangs down from the dispenser. Yes, I still go to FrozenYo.

  • Thanks, Obama.

  • Oh no! So sorry this happened to you, incidents like this are sooooo frustrating : ( Did you go back and ask for a replacement product? Ive had similar things happen to me on several occasions with products I purchased at the Giant in Columbia Heights, and they have always been very accommodating. I think this is a perfect example of why grocery stores in the District need to step up their security procedures (cameras, guards, etc.), particularly in the less gentrified areas of the city. Its only a matter of time until someone slips something gross (or heck, even dangerous!) into a previously sealed item.

    • maxwell smart

      Considering most grocery stores in DC seem to have a problem staffing more then 2 registers during peak grocery shopping hours (evenings, weekends) I don’t know where this extra security staff is going to come from. Honestly I think most places already write off a certain percentage to damage and theft anyway, so from their end it’s not a huge deal. Now if someone was doing it to every carton in the store… that would be a different story.

    • Less gentrified??? Wow….

    • Blithe

      If preventing this sort of behavior is a goal, it might be that stores in the MORE gentrified areas of the city need to step up their security procedures. I’ve been told by staff at Whole Foods that some customers treat the store like their own personal snack bar — adults as well as kids. The stories that I’ve heard have made me a much more careful shopper — particularly with things like baked goods and prepared foods, which often are packaged without safety seals. My sense is that rather than treating this as a security issue, Whole Foods just eats this as a cost of doing business with affluent customers.

  • I blame the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. This is just part of the further moral decline of our once great country.

  • Many products have the safety seal under a cap, so it’s impossible to tell if the seal has been broken until the cap is removed. I bought a bottle of gummy vitamins, and when I unscrewed the cap, there was a huge hole in the seal. I took the bottle back to Safeway and explained why I was returning it and got a refund. A few days later, I went to buy a replacement bottle of vitamins, and I ended up unscrewing the cap first to check the seal before buying. Guess what? I found the same tampered bottle I had returned back on the shelf (rip in the seal was in the exact same location). Ugh! Watch out, out there.

  • Orange you glad you checked the seal first?

  • We always check children’s vitamins as well. Had two separate occurrences in two different grocery stores where the safety seal was broken.

  • I’m so sorry this happened to you. It must have been terrible, and I can only imagine how it made you feel. I hope that you were still able to enjoy yourself on Independence Day. Have you sought counseling yet? I think the FMLA should cover extended leave in response to such trauma. I’ll say a prayer for your healing.

    • Unnecessarily dismissive. It’s pretty clear from the OP’s post that he/she was doing some tongue-in-cheek exaggeration.

    • Canine PTSD and juice-related PTSD in the same weekend!
      Quelle horreur…

  • I went to the grocery store in a daze one night after a tough day at work and didn’t realize until after I got home and opened that jar of delicious pickles that the safety seal was gone because someone had taken a bite out of the one of the pickles and then PUT IT BACK IN THE JAR. MONSTER.

  • west_egg

    This Safeway is barely better than the one it replaced. I’ve purchased spoiled prepared foods there and recently encountered a jar of mayo dated last August. I live around the corner but consider it my grocery store of last resort.

  • Hell, this stuff happens at Whole Foods (which buy the way often has no pricing for some items, nada, not even on the shelf).

  • Yeah I once got home with a half eaten package of Oreos. Gotta be careful folks, there are some weird people out there.

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