It’s not exactly a secret that fast food is, well, pretty bad for you. In recent decades, consumers have wised up about their eating habits (leading to the death of many McDonald’s playgrounds, may they RIP). And even though we’re all a lot more informed than we were, say, 20 years ago — every once in a while, we’re all guilty of indulging ourselves.
And sure, treating yourself every once in a while isn’t the worst thing in the world — but it could be, should you order the wrong thing.
Fortunately for us firmly in the ~treat yo’self~ camp, ordering “correctly” just became a little bit easier — as countless fast food employees (both former and current), took to reddit to share on what you should never order at their respective establishments. Because, let’s be honest, if you’re already making the poor choice of an unhealthy meal… Do you really have to make it worse by also ordering days-old food?! Keep reading to find out exactly which menu items should always be skipped!
We Now Have a Legit Reason to Hate Burger King’s Chicken Fries
Don’t @ me or anything, but there’s something about chicken fries that I find particularly gross. Why do we have to bring fries into all of this? Remember when we were just able to eat donuts without talk of donut fries? A simple chicken nugget did the trick back in my day, and not even once was I like, “Hey, this is great and all… But it would be even better if it was long and skinny and I could eat, like, 11 at a time!” Anyway, I digress…
Apparently working at a Burger King was so traumatic for redditor Rectorol that they are still lamenting Chicken Fries a full decade later.
When someone asked why they said to stay away from those cursed little chicken tenders, Rectorol explained, “They get double fried (or that was the standard anyway). They would get fried for a couple minutes to cook from frozen then put in an open bin (I worked at four Burger Kings, all did the same way) with no lid and then held for up to six hours. You refry them for about 20 seconds and serve them ‘fresh.’”
Here’s a Simple Tip: Always Avoid the Salad
Yes, this pretty much goes for any place you may decide to eat. Sure, it may seem like ordering the “healthiest” option is a safe bet, but the fresh ingredients necessary for a salad are often not so fresh at a fast food eatery.
At least according to one redditor — who claimed to work a “popular midwestern pizza chain for a while” — who claimed they felt good about everything on the menu… Except the salad.
“Literally the only thing we got that was consistently gross was the lettuce we would use for sandwiches and salads,” duh_metrius wrote. “It would come pre-shredded in a plastic bag that was who-knows-how-old and would turn brown and slimy seemingly within the first hour or two. And I think that’s par for the course.”
The redditor continued, “When our store opened on Chicago’s north side, we took the f--king neighborhood by storm. People instantly became downright addicted to the pizza. But at least once a week, people would call in or walk in angry about how disgusting the salad was.”
No, Really… Don’t Get the Fish Sandwich at McDonald’s
I mean, normally I would think that this one goes without saying, but — y’know — they’ve kept that damn Filet-O-Fish on the menu (at least on-and-off) since 1962. So, like, obviously some people somewhere are eating this… It’s just that they maaaaybe shouldn’t be.
“When I was 14, I worked at McDonald’s. Please god don’t order the fish sandwich,” elijahwoodman81 wrote. When pressed for more answers, the user added, “They keep them in the freezers for up to a month and literally just reheat them if they didn’t use them the day before. They are like 40 percent fish. I can’t believe people eat it.”
While this isn’t actually related to the grossness of it all, I learned (from researching for this article!), that the F-O-F was first introduced by a McDonald’s franchise order who saw his profits decline as a result of Roman Catholics avoiding meat on Fridays. Who knew?!
The Rumors You Heard About Wendy’s Chili? They’re True
Wendy’s chili is probably the only fast food item I missed when I stopped eating fast food. Honestly, confirmation that the meat in the chili is just leftover/unused hamburger meat wasn’t enough to turn me away (way to be practical and resourceful when it comes to your waste, Wendy’s!!); that said, after learning more about the process… I will never miss Wendy’s chili again!
“It’s pretty well-known how Wendy’s chili is made and although I know it’s healthy and fine and possibly even tasty, after having to prepare the meat hundreds of times, there is no way it’s ever going in my mouth,” RIPGEORGEHARRISON wrote. When someone asked for more context, the former Wendy's employee added, "After patties have sat around for too long to be put on burgers, they are set aside for chili meat. At the end of every shift (although occasionally at the end of every day, because day crew couldn't be f--ked to do it sometimes), they are put in a vat of water and microwaved for 10 minutes. You then pour out the water and chop up the meat, after which it's put in a strainer and has cold water run through it to quickly cool it. It just reeks and the thought of it makes me not want to eat it."
There Is a Right Way to Do Panda Express — And a Very, Very Wrong Way
On the surface, Mandarin chicken may seem like a safe bet at Panda Express. The dish has grilled chicken coated in sauce, so — comparatively — it has to be better for you… Right?! Wrong, apparently!
“Well I would never order anything from Panda Express anymore because I got sick of all the food, but if they still have the Mandarin chicken on the menu, it’s literally just chicken that comes on a bag and gets microwaved for five minutes before getting dumped into the serving dish,” PlanetaryGenocide wrote. “So that.”
When someone said that they (wrongly) assumed that most things at Panda Express were simply reheated, PlanetaryGenocide came to his former employer’s defense, adding, “Nah, most things when I worked there were actually cooked in woks. Anything that had a thick or sticky sauce on it like orange chicken, Beijing beef, etc. might have used frozen meats and/or vegetables but the sauces were made in the back or mixed on the spot in the wok and then the other ingredients are folded in and tossed.”
Gross Habits At 7-11 May Have Forced Them to Change the Entire Nacho Machine
Listen, people, I’m just going to call it like I see it: If you’re getting nachos at 7-11 you’re one of three things: drunk, desperate, or going through something. And assuming that’s the case, you’re probably not thaaaat concerned about disgusting nacho cheese residue but — according to one former employee — you should be.
“When I worked at 7-11 years ago, one of the things we got was a nachos machine, which had a big glass bin full of chips and two heated cookers with spigots on the bottom, one for chili and one for cheese. It was pretty popular,” dxrey65 wrote. “I don’t know if there was supposed to be some cleaning schedule, but we never had one. Cleaning it meant emptying the cookers, which wasted food (the boss said). In any case, the cheese one wasn’t so bad. When it was low we just dumped in another tub of cheese. Some oily separation, but it seemed ok. The chili, on the other hand, tended to mold, which crept up the insides of the cooker. When it got low, we’d scoop the mold off the top and wipe the inside a bt, then just dump another batch of new chili in on the top of the old. If I weren’t young and stupid about things then, I’d probably have said something, but all I did was avoid the stuff myself.”
While I desperately want to commend this establishment for not wasting food, that is — in a word — disgusting. As another redditor pointed out, “The cheese and chili come in bags now and a pinch tube spout. No food actually touches the machine anymore, probably [because] of your cheap boss and cheap bosses everywhere.”
Still, even with this new-and-improved way of serving nachos, we’re going to suggest avoiding them anyway because, as one redditor so poignantly explained, “If you’re looking for real food, you aren’t finding it at a convenience store in the middle of the night.”
If You Somehow Break the Rules of the Space-Time Continuum and Find Yourself in an Arby’s in 2018… We Got You
So, I understand that at one point in time, people obviously ate at Arby’s… or else there wouldn’t be more than 3,000 Arby’s restaurants still standing. But still, I couldn’t — at this moment in time — name two people who eat Arby’s (I can name one and her name is January Jones). So if, by chance, you are the second or third person out there eating Arby’s, do not eat the Beef ‘n’ Cheddar unless you want the elusive Arby’s eaters to go extinct.
“Arby’s already has a bad rep (I actually like it well enough), but under no circumstances should you get a Beef ‘n’ Cheddar. Make them put a cheddar slice on it like civilized people,” Decapitated_Saint explained. “I’ll just say this: Cleaning out the cheese goop pump when closing was enough to prepare me for working with human stool, sputum, and blood lab specimens without blinking years later.”
Ugh. For those keeping score at home, that brings us to a grand total of… Wannabe cheese and their disgusting machines: 2; the human race: 0.
Well, if I didn't gross you out too much, there's a lesson to be learned here: Eating fast food isn't always a mistake — but ordering any of these items most definitely is!