The Costco Meat Myth You Should Stop Believing, According To Reddit

Hard though it may be to believe, (cue the eye-roll) there's a lot of misinformation on the internet. So much, in fact, that debunking these myths is a full-time profession for many people. NASA has had to take time out of exploring the universe to point out that it's not really possible to see The Great Wall of China from space. The History Channel needed to pause in its inquiry into the past to assure everyone that Vikings almost certainly didn't wear helmets with horns on them. With all the false facts being spread around, it's hard to know what's true and what's fiction cooked up by internet trolls.

In a quest to offer real information to people, one Redditor known as DropShotter set up an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on the Reddit subthread, r/Costco, in which they tried to expose some of the major myths about the meat sold at Costco stores. This person claimed to have spent the past 15 years as a meat department employee and wanted to dispel some of the most common rumors. 

One myth that DropShotter shot down is that meat with newer dates on the package doesn't mean it's better, and "contributes to wasted food." This claim is backed up by the USDA, which uses the "Best if Used By/Before" dates to say when a food product will have the best flavor. So long as it's used prior to that date, it's going to taste good whether or not it's the freshest cut.

More useful Costco meat knowledge

While the aim of DropShotter's AMA was to dispel deception, it also included some useful facts that might not be known about Costco's meat department. For example, the OP confirmed that Costco blade tenderizes its meat because "blade tenderizing definitely adds tenderness." He also said that Costco has an agreement with the USDA to "wash and sanitize the tenderizer every 4 hours to negate the possibility of bacteria." This is good news for carnivores who are concerned that mechanical tenderizing can cause contamination and illness (per PBS).

Some other useful tidbits that Costco shoppers might want to know are things like, "No fish is sushi grade unless otherwise advertised as so." Another thing to note before you approach the meat counter is that the people working there "generally can not do special cuts, packaging or grinds." So if you were hoping they'd be able to hack you off a juicy cut of steak or other tasty chunk of meat, you're probably out of luck.

The myth of Costco returns

The meat counter isn't the only place where Costco myths abound. It's very easy to run into problems throughout the store, including when you're trying to make returns. One longstanding Costco belief is that everything can be returned. Sadly, this is not the case.

Those who enjoy the wide selection of alcohol that Costco offers should know that it's nearly impossible to return alcohol back to the store and this goes for cigarettes, too. However, many on Reddit claim they've seen customers bring booze back, sometimes with just three inches left in the bottle, but don't expect that to be a normal occurrence. 

Speaking of alcohol, CNBC (via Huffpost) says that Costco is one of the largest importers of French wines in the United States. So, if you haven't thought of buying your next Saumur Blanc wholesale, you might want to reconsider. If you need help choosing a bottle, here's a nice Costco wine buying guide.

Costco isn't trying to catch shoplifters at the door

Many shoppers think that the Costco employees who are checking receipts at the door are trying to catch thieves. One California man even refused to show his receipt, thinking that it infringed on his freedom. "Costco's policy of checking your receipt before you leave is, to me, unacceptable," he wrote in the Orange Country Register, and further exclaimed, "And therefore I will not adhere to it." The mistake here is thinking that Costco is questioning his honor as a fine, upstanding buyer. In fact, this is a myth, as Costco checks your receipt before you leave because the employees are trying to save customers money, and ensure the cashiers are doing their job correctly. It has almost nothing to do with stopping shoplifting.

Paige Saunders, YouTuber and Costco employee, reinforces the idea that theft isn't the issue. "When we are scanning receipts, we are looking for double scans," she says in a video. One former Costco employee, David, agrees  and told The Sun, "The scanners are so sensitive that it's really easy to accidentally scan something twice and not notice." He claims that he caught more than $1,000 on customer receipts and was able to have that money promptly returned to shoppers.

Although some Costco myths are now laid to rest, you may still be wondering how its hot dog meal is so cheap, and this answer might surprise you.