Most of us turn a blind eye to the preparation methods or sanitary conditions at our favorite fast food restaurants. In the back of our minds, we occasionally question whether something sketchy is going on in the kitchen, but we'd rather enjoy our food in blissful ignorance.
Let's ruin that right now!
Last Thursday, a Reddit user by the name of ohisthename posed the following question to any fast food workers within the Reddit community: "What should we NOT order at your restaurant? Why not?" The responses were plentiful, with thousands of users chiming in. And their answers were intriguing, informative, and in many cases, downright gross.
Here are some of the more insightful things they had to say:
#1. Avoid Lemons and Ice at All Costs
From Reddit user hardshell1919: "I've worked at 4 restaurants in my life and lemons and ice are by far the most disgusting things you can get."
From Reddit user littlebosheep: "Even with regular cleaning ice machines are disgusting."
From Reddit user velleux: "But really though, those lemons have been sitting out all day. Stop ordering them."
#2. Don't Order the Chili
From Reddit user doopercrooper: "Don't eat the chili at fast food places. It's usually the old meat chopped up into pieces and thrown into a chili."
#3. Steer Clear of the Hot Food at a Movie Theater …
From Reddit user lizardmon: "I worked at a movie theater for a year. Never buy anything that came out of a warmer. Unless you are there at 7 p.m. on a Friday or Saturday night chances are it was made between 2 and 4 hours ago."
#4. … And Sometimes the Popcorn, Too
From Reddit user 318daily: "I used to work at a movie theater. Don't get popcorn if you're watching the first showing of the day. At night we would make popcorn and bag it up which is what we would serve in the morning the following day."
From Reddit user juandurfel: "Be careful if you order popcorn for the first show time of the day at your theater. Some [theaters] take the popcorn left over in the popper from the night before and store it in a trashbag in the break room. They then dump the popcorn back into the popper the next day and sell it first."
#5: Inspect Your Sandwich Meats
From Reddit user hey-you-pikachu: "The roast beef is so full of preservatives its iridescent (super shiny and rainbow). The cold cuts are in a nasty syrup that smells like [expletive deleted], and the black forest ham has little piggy hairs on them if you look close enough."
From Reddit user ChipCrumbMassacre: "I work at a local sub-place … Do not order ham or turkey subs. When we microwave the ham, it sparks, and sometimes when we cut the turkey with the slicer, you can hear a little clink because there was something solid that was cut through."
#6. You Shouldn't Be Ordering a Taco Pizza
From Reddit user grdctrl2mjrtom: "Don't order the taco pizza then. Never in my 3 years of off and on working at 3 different [pizza chain locations] have I seen anyone use gloves to put the lettuce, tomatoes, or cheddar cheese on one of those suckers."
#7. Your Fish Sandwich Might Be Iffy
From Reddit user Recede: "We had to make them at 11 when lunch started and had the same ones in the tray until the elderly people came to get their supper at 3 P.M. ... Never order them."
From Reddit user phillipssyndrome: "I would never trust ANYONE cooking ANY fish."
#8. Stop Ordering From the Non-Existent 'Secret Menu'
From Reddit user bwat4ou: "Current Starbucks employee here. To expand on this, one person's 'secret menu recipe' for a drink they got off Pinterest or some crap site might vary from another persons recipe from the same 'drink' from some stupid other website.... So we never really 'know' the exact recipes..."
From Reddit user Ssutuanjoe: "Every redditor who works at Chipotle has the same consensus; Don't order the quesorito. I've never ordered it and it never seemed appealing to me to begin with, but apparently when customers order them, every employee in the restaurant hates you."
#9: There's a Reason They're Called Dirty-Water Hot Dogs
From Reddit user FreakyCheeseMan: "Do not. Buy. The Hot Dogs. They made it out of the package okay, and might even have been edible after we finished grilling them — and then they went into the water. We kept three pans of water at the back of the grill that held the hot dogs. Any hot dogs left at the end of the day went back into the fridge, and came out again the next day. Me and the other cook put our feet down on throwing out the water and old hotdogs after two full days, but the management didn't want to let us."
#10: Demand Decaf
From Reddit user fishkybuns: "Our coffee has to be made on certain times. It can't be too old. However not many people order decaf. So we don't make it too often during slower hours (our busy times are early and later morning. Afternoon, evening, and night is what I'm taking about) So if you order it drive thru, and there isn't any, you'll likely get regular."
Despite the negative responses, several Reddit commenters, were quick to point out that not all of these franchise stores operate the same way, some even saying that their local locations are "spotless" and serve completely safe, fresh food.
Just hope you like near one of those the next time you're downing an icy drink with a lemon wedge.