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24 Things You Should Never Order At A Fast Food Restaurant, According To Employees

Chicken sandwiches, soft serve, chili, and more items on the "nope" list.

Fast food employees are revealing some of the nastiest things they've seen on the job...and it just might change what you order from your favorite chains from now on.


It all started when Reddit user u/Caseykins posed a question to the internet: "Fast food employees, what’s one item on your chain’s menu that you will absolutely not eat under any circumstances?"

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Suffice it to say, some truly disgusting stories were shared. Here are the top-voted responses, if you dare to read them:

1. "I was a shift supervisor at a fast food place and years later, I still refuse to eat anything with ice cream in it. The machine we had was always covered in mold and spoiled cream, while the owner's 'fix' was to scrape off a layer of mold and spray some Clorox on it."

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2. "Nobody ever fucking orders the chicken sandwich, so if you do, it's probably been sitting in a warmer tray for an hour or two. We just can't afford to throw out the old ones all the time, but have to keep some on hand. It will probably be hard and dry, and we probably won't give you a refund."


3. "Used to work at a small fast food place, and during training, my manager got mad at me for throwing out slimy corn. She showed me how she would just rinse the slime off in the sink and put it back. I find corn suspicious now."


4. "I work at a chain coffee shop where we make our own in-house chocolate sauce. Sounds nice, but it starts to mold within a few days. That shouldn't be a problem since we go through chocolate and make more daily, however, the chocolate sauce container only gets cleaned out properly if we run out during slow times. Otherwise we just dump fresh chocolate sauce on top and get right back to dealing with the rush."


5. "The chili. Whenever a burger is cooked it is only considered 'good' for a certain amount of time. If the burger didn't get used, it would be thrown in a bucket next to the grill. At the end of each shift, the person dumps all the old burgers into a larger bucket of old burgers, which may or may not be covered. They also may be from days prior. Overnight they chill, the grease congeals and the meat turns gray and weird. This meat may not be frozen, but it is still hard to break up. So the person making chili dumps it in a big colander, runs hot water over it, and mashes it into tiny pieces again. Now the soggy, grayish, lukewarm day-old burger meat is ready to be used in the chili."

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6. "The chili is old dried-out burgers mashed up, microwaved in water, then mixed in with chili mix. I will not eat it knowing where the meat came from."


7. "I have watched the hairiest men make coleslaw with no gloves, and for perspective we make a giant tub at a time. You're literally armpit-deep sometimes in this bin to mix it correctly...Please don’t eat the coleslaw."


8. "The main thing that was nasty was the fish sandwich, for a few reasons. 1) The thing just smelled foul. It was a frozen patty of fish that we’d dunk in the fryer for like four minutes, and then attempt to not vomit when we pulled it out because of the smell. 2) The tartar sauce. The tartar sauce sat in a container that was ‘cooled’ by the the larger tray it was in. This didn’t really cool it though, so it was usually room temp. Since few people ordered the tartar sauce, the top layer would quickly turn this greenish-brown color, which doesn’t sound that gross but it would turn FAST. 3) The fish patties tended to sit in the warmer for pretty much forever."


9. "Nobody ever ordered the crispy chicken. I’ve had it sit in the warmer from opening to changeover. Then from changeover when I ended my shift. Maybe it depends on the location, but the odds of getting one that’s been sitting there for an hour or two outweigh the odds that the grill people remembered it existed and changed it out when it started looking bad."

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10. "We would cook hot dogs on the rotating grill for all to see. At the end of the day if they weren’t bought we were supposed to toss them. I mean they were almost burnt and wrinkly. The manager was there one day when we had three hotdogs left over. I went to toss them and he flipped his shit. He put them in the fridge and told me to use them the next day in a chili or cheese dog where the customer couldn’t see the hot dog."


11. "The thing I refuse to eat is the garlic bread. At our store and the other I worked at temporarily, we used a paint brush to spread the garlic butter. The thing was, the paint brush was never fully clean so garlic butter from the previous days would still be on the brush. I’d never seen the brush replaced in my nearly two years working there."


12. "There's a rule for how long something can sit under the heat lamps, but no one follows it. If you're not ordering during the lunch or dinner rush, you should assume whatever you get has been sitting out for hours."


13. "My best friend worked at a very popular sandwich fast food chain. Some of the tomatoes had mold on them so she went to throw them out. Her manager scolded her and told her if anything grows mold, you cut the mold off and still serve it so they don’t waste food."

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14. "Never get the chicken pot pie. The chicken used for this is old chicken that hasn’t been bought throughout the day. For example, a cook will make the chicken at opening and once time passes no one buys it, they dump it in a container, freeze it, then shred it up for pot pies months later. No one would know since it’s sauced up in a pie."


15. "There's a reason that the ice cream machine is down a lot. Sometimes it's for legit maintenance, other times though, it's to clean out the mold that likes to grow in the liquid mix. I only found out after a year. I was filling it one day and looked down. The stuff I saw was nightmare fuel and ruined me on their soft serve for a while."


16. "The 'premium chicken' that they use as a pizza topping has to be the absolute worst on the menu. It is very obviously liquefied and re-condensed chicken pieces which are then cut into strips and given artificial grill marks."


17. "I worked at a pizza place that was infested with roaches, especially in the back room where we would leave the pizza dough out to sit. We would also find roaches in the ice maker, in the mechanical parts as well as the ice itself."

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18. "Commercial food equipment maintenance man here. I will never drink a fountain beverage with ice at a sub sandwich chain restaurant or anywhere else that bakes bread and has an ice maker. The yeast in the air makes things grow like crazy on the grid the ice is formed on. Even if the ice maker is cleaned regularly, it’s not enough. It’s why they don’t use clear cups. If you got clear soda or water with ice in a clear cup, it would look like pepper was floating inside."


19. "The chicken pot pie was made with old chicken from three to four days ago when we froze it. Nasty, and we wouldn’t make more pot pies unless we ran out."


20. "I discovered maggots crawling all over a box of moldy potatoes. I threw the box out, and I was cussed out. They fished them out and cut the maggot parts out of the potatoes and used them anyway. I quit that day."


21. "Never. Ever. Ever. Eat a baked potato after 4 PM. We stop making them after lunch, unless there’s a rush at dinner where we use the last of them and need to make more. Otherwise, it would be left in the warmer going soft and brown. We were told that if a baked potato was passable enough that a customer might not notice it was basically mush on the inside, we just cover it in toppings so there were no visual cues that it was gross and nasty."

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22. "Once I accidentally dropped a whole open box of frozen chicken patties on the floor and told my manager to write down the waste. He said, 'Just put them back in the box. The fryer oil will get rid of any germs.' Unfortunately, if food waste exceeded $100 a month, they would make the managers pay out of pocket for any additional expense... Seeing as everyone is underpaid, including the managers, you can probably guess the corners that would be cut to keep food cost as low as possible."


23. "One shift, I cut the hell out of my hand and bled into a tea urn. The shift manager told me to use it anyways and didn’t even let me wash my hands. I dumped all the tea out, reported it to the GM, and made up a lie about having a blood borne illness so they’d take things a little more seriously."


And finally...

24. "I was doing my thing one night, and the restaurant's owner is on the phone, trying to get his fryer filter repaired... I said I’d check it out. Inside were two large dead rats, or what was left of them, bones and fluff mostly. They had gotten into the machine via the purge pipe, and got stuck inside. So for probably a month or two, all the fried food from this establishment had been cooked in oil that had been filtered through two rotting rats."

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You can read the full thread of responses on Reddit.

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity, and certain identifying details have been removed to protect anonymity.