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12 Fast Food Items That Store Employees Say to Avoid Like the Plague

We might go to fast food places knowing that we’re getting a bunch of fat, preservatives, and other additives that will make us have regrets (probably sooner rather than later), but we hope that the places we frequent take their cleanliness and other health standards seriously.

We probably realize, though, that’s not always true – and if you’re wondering if there’s something in particular you shouldn’t be ordering from your favorite spot, well…these 12 employees are dishing below.

12. Why would anyone eat there, honestly?

Applebee’s; not a d*mn thing.

It’s the only restaurant I’ve worked for I would never eat at.

11. Once a week!

Had a job with AMC theaters.

I wouldn’t recommend buying anything other than popcorn/drink.

The fried food is really something else – one it comes shipped from a 3rd party, so it’s not even kind of fresh.

The oil is so gross. You’re basically ordering something that went through a machine built in the 70s that has accumulated layers and layers of oil residue. You can clean it a little bit, but you’re never going back to how it first looked. Everyday there’s like a new layer of “oil icing” and the corners of the steel plates are where they really get stuck.

(I’ve worked other jobs as a fry cook before too, making fresh chicken tenders and such everyday at a deli. AT the deli we cleaned the fryers every night, with huge hoses.)

AMC we cleaned the fryer once a week – by a person making minimum wage and doesn’t exactly have any motivation to do a pristine job.

10. You heard it here first.

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.

The white mocha and caramel sauces are manufactured and therefore have a long shelf life. I stick with those.

9. Just pretend there is no ice cream machine.

I work at a mcdonalds. While there isn’t much that I wont eat (I just have stupid low standards for food) There are some…riskier things to eat.

There’s a reason that the ice cream machine is down a lot. Sometimes its for legit maintenance, other times tho, its to clean out the mold that likes to grow in the liquid mix.

I only found out after a year, was filling it one day and looked down. The stuff i saw was nightmare fuel and ruined me on their soft serve for awhile.

I had said something about it. “First shift will get it tomorrow.”…..

8. No one wants a wrinkly hotdog.

I worked at Orange Julius for my first job. 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 Ross then 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 hotdog. To this day I still feel bad for the customer who received the chili dog the next morning since he was there. Thankfully he has rarely there and I would toss out those wrinkly fuckers at the end of the day.

7. It might make you diabetic.

I work at a fast casual baja style mexican grill place that is a smaller competitor to Chipotle. I’m the lead cook and make every protein, sauce, bean and hot item in house with fresh ingredients. That being said our most popular protein is our sweet pork. For a single batch of pork (60 lbs) I will use close to 10 lbs of straight white sugar, 3 gallons of coke and 3 lbs of butter.

The shit taste like fuxking candy and is crazy addictive. There are folks who come in every day and get double meat (8oz) slather it in queso, and get shredded cheese on top. I’m pretty damn sure I am contributing to their eventual death by cardiac arrest.

6. Not made fresh.

I currently manage a red-colored fast food place. The only item that I will not eat on the menu is the breakfast burrito. Everything else is cooked fresh in the store except for that item.

Other people are claiming other items are bad due to poor waste control practices, but I always tell my employees “if you wouldn’t pay for it, do not serve it”. Emphasis on the PAY for it. People pay a premium for our food compared to arch-based or crown-based places, so they better be getting quality food.

I would rather someone wait 1-2 minutes extra for fresh food than serve sub-standard products.

5. Learned this the hard way.

Ham on pizza. Worked at pizza hut done time ago and the ham would turn this disgusting gray color within a day or opening the package. You just couldn’t tell if it had been opened 24 his ago or 2 weeks ago.

But, during cooking it returned to pink which always weirded me out.

4. That’s not a sound you forget.

I worked at a Subway in my senior year of high school. What disturbed me was how the tuna came packaged: in a big metallic bag (to keep it fresh, I guess.) Then when we had to take it out, it would make this squelching noise.

And because I made so many subs, completely put me off from eating those sandwiches ever again.

3. Just go to Chick Fil A, friends.

Used to work at McDonald’s. 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 table and grill people remembered it existed and changed it out when it started looking bad.

That and the gravy. Shit smelled like dog food and looked like glue. I didn’t have a single coworker who liked it. I might just be biased against it since it took forever to make it. And if I thought “Oh, we have enough to finish out breakfast I be wrong. Every. Single. Time. I’ll never order it close to changeover and have someone have to make a gallon they’ll end up using one scoop of.

2. Why is it always the chili?

I worked at Wendy’s in high school. For me, that item is the chili.

Whenever a burger is cooked it is only considered “good” for a certain amount of time. So many minutes after cooking and 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 xays prior. Overnight they chill, the grease congeals and the meat turns pretty grey and weird. This meat may not be frozen, but it is still pretty 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, greyish, lukewarm day old burger meat is ready to be used in the chili.

1. They’re hard to clean.

I never drink anything from a tap or fountain, anywhere. Those things are always nasty, and I say that as someone who has had a career in waste disposal. In the first bar I worked I took it upon my young, dumb ass to deep clean the beer taps.

Not only have I never seen that quantity of black mold anywhere else, on my next shift five people, apparently regulars, chewed me out because the beer tasted wrong and it was obviously my fault. They weren’t wrong, but it stung, especially since I couldn’t tell them why.

Yeah, some stuff I swear you just don’t want to know.

If you’re a fast food worker, or have been in the past, lay your own cautionary tales on us in the comments!