A Reddit user posed the question:
What is the one menu option at your employment that you would recommend people never eat?
In the first 24 hours, more than 6,000 restaurant workers responded.
They warned us of vegetarian items that aren’t, and tell us why we don’t want the ‘steakhouse-style’ burger for dinner. They told us about bug-infested soda nozzles, ice machine slime, and instructed us on why you never want to order a milk shake on a Saturday. It’s a roundup of food safety lapses, dietary lies, and Jungle-like tales of the food service underbelly worthy of Upton Sinclair.
If you think you’re saving on calories and fat, think again. Those who work the grills talk of slathering chicken breasts in so much liquified margarine to keep them moist and prevent sticking that burgers and fried chicken can actually be healthier options.
Tuna and Chicken Salad
Restaurant workers report sightings of mayonnaise that spends the whole day at room temperature, and unsold chicken nuggets that are stripped of breading and re-purposed in salads.
Soda nozzles and ice dispensers are seldom cleaned until they’re clogged—with bugs, hair, congealed soda syrups, algae—and anything else that might have accumulated or fallen in. The flipside is no better— a recently cleaned soda machine can have so much of the cleaning solution lingering in its reservoir that it dispenses a dose of anti-bacterial chemicals with the first few batches of servings.
An ice cream-less mix frozen in an automated shake machine hardly qualifies as a treat any day of the week. But at some fast food outlets, the employees say that they are instructed to save all the spills and runoff that accumulate in the machine’s well, collect it for the week, and then load it back into the shake machine for a second Saturday go-round.
Why Saturday? Because it’s the health inspector’s day off.
Self-Serve Communal Condiments
You really don’t want to know.
A lot of the fast food chains recently added upgraded hamburgers to their menus. Often made with a higher grade of beef and fancy toppings, they command a premium price, and most outlets sell very few until dinner time. Which means, we are told, that the ‘steakhouse’ burgers from the lunch shift can have a six-hour session under warming lights to become the ‘steakhouse’ burgers of the dinner shift.
These are the eyewitnesses.
These are the people who flip the burgers, scoop the fries, and refill the straw dispensers.
And these are the foods that they won’t touch.