The urban legends have been around for years. This fast food chain has bad meat. This other chain never cleans. The list goes on and on. But what is actually true about them?
Could be both. Could be neither. It turns out individual restaurants in a chain may be problems in some locations, and then others in different areas are the picture of perfection. Or these may be just another rumor spread about. In the age of the Internet, spreading these types of rumors is that much easier. That’s why one Reddit user took to the Ask Reddit subreddit to clear up some rumors from employees themselves. Again, there is a chance that these are just isolated cases. As you can see for yourself, some of the claims went unsubstantiated. In other instances, former and current employees echoed the claims at their branch.
What came as a surprise was that some of the major chains you may expect to get skewered came away with positive responses, or none at all. Some other popular brands received the torching you may have expected. Either way, fast food is something that most of us already knew was not good for our bodies. For the few that refused to believe that notion, these facts may sway you. Either way, take a look at what these employees had to say. Some of their responses may surprise you.
First, The Good News
Maybe it’s the mostly happy co-workers. Maybe it’s the clean conditions or healthy food practices, but some chains received positive reviews. When you think fast food, Burger King might be one of the first brands you think of. With so many locations, something bad is bound to happen. However, according to the employees that participated you are good to order anything at their stores. Wendy’s and In-N-Out Burger, likewise, received high marks. In-N-Out in particular was singled out for praise thanks to its dedication to freshness and hygienic food handling.
Other chains in the same light include Chick-fil-A, which seemed to be positive across the board. The chain that dealt with its own kind of controversy a few years ago seems to know how to properly handle its business on the food end of things. When it comes to burritos, Chipotle employees only had one word of advice: Don’t order the quesorito. You will slow the line for employees and customers alike. No one will like you.
Coffee – McDonald’s
No matter how tired you are, avoid getting your energy fix from the Golden Arches. The McCafe machines seem to vary between cleaned every day to never touched. According to one Redditor,
“I work for Mcdonald’s and make sure everyone that matters to me never orders anything that comes out of the “McCafe” machine as these are routinely neglected, in practically all the McDonalds. Not only are staff not properly trained in its cleaning and maintenance, at almost every McDonalds I’ve had experience with, the managers in charge of training them don’t know f*ck all either.”
The need for regular cleaning stems from the coffee and espresso grounds that get stuck. It’s said to be hard to clean out. Some said that the machine needs an expert to clean it and have special brushes to do so. Some chains say they would clean it but lack the brushes. With its hit and miss status, it may be best to get your coffee elsewhere.
Another tip was to always order your food “fresh” to avoid eating anything stuck under a heat lamp.
(Arguably) Everything – Taco Bell
Taco Bell has been one of the chains most impacted with rumors over the years. The most prominent rumor has always been that the chain uses Grade D meat. Things actually got so bad that Taco Bell had to take out full page ad campaigns in 2011 to dispel the rumors. Yet, the thread was without any major claims against them. Many users spoke about the ignorance of believing in the meat rumor. Others said they came just to see what employees would say about the chain.
Of all the things said, the harshest might be that Taco Bell uses pre-made food that is preheated in boiling water. When the bags of beans are boiling in the water they smell pretty bad. So breathe easy, Taco Bell fans. You are all set. Just be careful for E. coli and other major issues. There have been problems in the past.
Roast Beef – Arby’s
To be fair to Arby’s, this could be a stretch. Of all the things said on the thread about Arby’s, the major point seems to be their roast beef. Like Taco Bell’s meat rumors, Arby’s signature meat has faced rumors in the past. Instead of being barely passable by the USDA, the roast beef has been rumored to be nothing more than a paste-like gel. However, no one seemed to be able to confirm or deny this claim. The good thing appears to be that no one else made any claims for or against the chain.
One thing to consider is the claim of a former employee. They had worked for the chain fifteen years ago and recalled this encounter,
“Once I saw what the ‘roast beef’ looked like before we cooked it, I never ate it again. It is a gelatinous mass with chunks of meat in it. Literally a paste with chunks of meat.”
Again, fifteen years ago. Proceed with caution.
The ‘Secret Menu’ – Starbucks
Sort of like Chipotle but bigger, Starbucks’ secret menu has been something customers have been trying or wanting to try for years. It may not be a reason for health that should make you reconsider ordering off it. It’s that it doesn’t really exist.
While some chains like In-N-Out have a legitimate secret menu, Starbucks doesn’t. Instead, the menu is just creations made from other customers. If you decide to order your Nutella frappuccino, be warned. You may be getting the drink you want, or you may just be getting a cup of sugar.
Unless the barista happens to know how to make your creation, the drink will get made to the barista’s best efforts. Other employees in the thread offered a fix. Instead of ordering the secret menu drink, order its base drink and make its modifications. While the drink may still be a headache to make, you will more likely order the “secret” drink you were looking for.
BBQ Sandwich – KFC
You may think the Double Down would be the thing everyone should worry about. But that’s not the case. Instead, the greasy “sandwich” didn’t get scorn thrown on it. In fact, the BBQ chicken sandwich seems to be one of the worst things to order off of any menu. As one user with about four years experience at the chain had to say,
“The BBQ sandwich is actually made from chicken too old and stale to give to the homeless shelters, so they soak it in BBQ sauce until it can be pulled and then they keep it on the heater for a month.”
If that’s true, that is by far the foulest thing to come up in the thread. This claim seemed to have backing from other commenters with first hand experience. This may be something you would expect KFC to address. While many claims against Taco Bell’s meat have been made, maybe one should start for this sandwich.
Pizza – Pizza Hut
Making pizza is slightly different than the other types of fast food on here. Working without gloves is actually acceptable when working with raw dough. Then again, this manager did mean that,
“Our dough are processed, frozen discs that we handle WITHOUT gloves. (When I say handle without gloves, I mean handle without washing hands.)”
Well, that can be gross. The 400 degree heat should burn off any unsanitary marks on your dough, but still. Making things worse is their claim that the chain makes crust better when they “Oil the hell out of them.” What makes this whole thing worse is that rival chains Papa Jon’s and Domino’s didn’t appear to have any claims against them.
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