Americans like to sue. So they rather avoid liabilities, than get sued by Americans and lose and pay them more for damages
This is also true. In my example above, the store I worked at had a policy. Glass jars of spaghetti sauce or baby food or anything - if any glass broke the entire tray (generally 12 or 24 jars) had to be thrown out. They were worried of the liability of ANY glass shard on the bottle or getting under the lip of the lid, which would in turn kill someone and they'd be sued. Yes, it's absurd. Yes, an employee could just wash off the bottles to eliminate any chance of this.
From a purely financial standpoint of the grocery store, 12 jars of baby food isn't food. It's $12. They're not going to risk a $1 million lawsuit over $12, which is probably a writeoff anyway. And they're not going to pay an employee $10 for an hour to wash off $12 worth of food, which would be a net $2 win. Not worth it. From the store's perspective, resources are unlimited but they cannot risk legal exposure to be sued. So it goes to the trash.
Now, I've often thought these stores could just have a donation section, and you sign a liability waiver. But then that's not "free" for the store either. That involves lawyers, and documenting and inventorying waivers just to give stuff away. And when you give a customer a gallon of motor oil, he doesn't need to buy a gallon of motor oil. So now the generosity is competing against the business model...
There really should be a "good Samaritan" law protecting businesses that act in good faith to donate stuff, so they cannot be sued.
Capitalism is twisted in many ways.