10 Items Fast Food Workers Say You Should Never Order

Fast Food

We recently told you about the healthy items at McDonald’s many nutritionists recommend ordering. Well, today we’re going to share with you the ten menu items current and former fast food workers say you should never order. Warning: reading this article may induce vomiting!

10. Chili

Source: Pexels

If you like the chili at Wendy’s, Checkers or Sonic, you might want to think twice next time before ordering it. Current and former fast food workers on Reddit explain just how the chili is made:

“I would never, ever, ever, in a bazillion years, eat any fast food place’s chili after working there. The chili is just the past few day’s unsold, sat in the heater too long to sell as a hamburger, meat that gets chopped up and thrown in some chili seasoning and beans. The batch of chili was never thrown out, just always sat there getting replenished with new chili sauce and meat, so some of the chili in there was months old at least.” Reddit user DuctTapeChainsaw said about Checkers’ chili.

“If you have someone who cant seem to stop overcooking the beef, you may end up with chili meat to last for three days. Chili meat is good for 7 days if I recall correctly. Occasionally, depending on how popular the chili sells on a given day, it is possible to have chili with meat cooked the same day,” Reddit user zenkaifts said about Wendy’s chili.

“Don’t get the chili. It comes in a bag, gets warmed up in a metal tub and then sits for 10 hours until we run out and replace it, it’s also just not very good to begin with,” Reddit user AntProtein said about the chili at Sonic.

9. Chicken Sandwiches

Grilled Chicken Sandwich
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The reason why fast food workers say that you shouldn’t order chicken sandwiches is because they sit in the warming bin for a long time. This is especially true when going to a place that’s known primarily for selling burgers. People aren’t going to be buying that many chicken sandwiches at a burger joint, so that just sit around longer than other items, and then they end up rubbery, a former Burger King worker in Ohio told Reader’s Digest.

The same thing goes for McDonald’s and Culver’s, too. Reddit user CaseyTwist said, “When I worked there in Canada, McDonald’s grilled chicken could sit there for a long time.” And, Reddit user Kranglz said that the crispy chicken sandwiches at Culver’s sit around for about 30 minutes.

8. Tuna Salad

Tuna Salad
Source: Wikimedia Commons

A former Friendly’s worker told Reader’s Digest that customers should avoid ordering tuna salad or anything that can be prepared ahead of time. That’s because the Friendly’s she worked at made the tuna salad only once a week!

And, when it comes to the tuna at Subway, that stuff is “literal poison in a container,” Reddit user Reaverx218 says. “It is always several days older than expiration. I used to walk on shift and throw it out by look alone.” Another issue with the tuna salad at Subway is that they use a LOT of mayo to make it. It’s “80% mayonnaise,” Reddit user karma_virus said. “When we made the tuna salad we would have to weigh out a pound of mayo to mix with the fish,” Reddit user catsnbrains said.

7. Milkshakes

Source: Pixabay

WARNING: If you love milkshakes as much as I do, you may not want to read what this Reddit user had to say about the milkshake machine at McDonald’s. You know what? Forget that. You NEED to read this! Here goes:

“I worked at McDonald’s for five years. Never order the milkshakes! The machine often breaks, and when it does, the milk base stays inside until it is fixed, usually causing [it] to go bad. The machine is kind of cleaned, but never as good as it should be. Every time there is a limited time shake (i.e. Shamrock, or eggnog) the syrup pipes get all gunked up, and the only way to fix that is to shove something in the pipe like a broken fork or chopstick to dislodge the gunk,” Reddit user BokeOhime said.

Oh, and if you have food allergies, you may want to be careful the next time you order a milkshake at Sonic. That’s because they use the same dressing station for everything. That can be very serious for those of you with nut allergies. The last thing you want is to get peanut residue in your milkshake.

6. Chicken Fries

Chicken Fries
Source: Wikimedia Commons By jerem43 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

Last year Burger King brought back chicken fries for a limited time. But, here’s something fans of this crispy treat probably don’t know:

“My local BK’s chicken fries were rock solid and barely anything inside. It was 80% breading that I actually couldn’t bite through,” Reddit user jet_10 said. That’s because “they get double fried (or that was the standard anyway). They would get fried for a couple minutes to cook [them] from frozen, then [they were] put in an open bin (I worked at 4 Burger Kings, all did the same way) with no lid and then held for up to 6 hours. You refry them for about 20 seconds and serve them ‘fresh’,” Reddit user Rectorol added.

5. Ice

Ice Cubes
Source: Pixabay

Fast food restaurant workers everywhere agree that you should never order anything with ice. “From what I’ve witnessed, [don’t order] iced drinks. Anywhere. I worked at Starbucks for nigh upon 9 years, and the ice machine was rarely cleaned properly. On the rare occasion that a water tester came by, she cited us for having ‘dirty ice.’ She said we had 48 hours to fix it, or she would get the health board to inspect. I took it on myself to learn how to take apart and clean the ice machines, and we got a pass the next time she came in,” Reddit user Kellidra said.

Another user had this to say: “You really shouldn’t be using any restaurant’s ice dispensers. They’re almost never cleaned and when tested have tons of bacteria.”

4. Fountain Drinks

Fountain Drinks
Source: Pixabay

If you ever go to Dunkin’ Donuts, “never get the coolattas,” Reddit user Zombikittie said. “The machines at the one I worked were hardly cleaned.”

Another Reddit user who worked in a donut shop (not sure it was Dunkin’ Donuts) had this to say: “I worked in a local coffee and donut shop and nobody ever cleaned the soda machines. They were so gross the first time I cleaned them. I asked if anyone knew how to do it and nobody knew; nobody had ever done it.”

Xenacoryza, another fast food worker on Reddit, said that the manager at the Burger King they worked at dipped the soda machine nozzles in Sprite to clean them at closing time. Reddit user Skellingtoon also shared a similar story: “At one place, we used to soak them in the soda water overnight. Like, fill up a wine cooler with soda water, and put the whole post-mix head into it. Not sure if it did anything, but it looked good.”

3. Fish Sandwiches

Filet O Fish
Source: Wikimedia Commons By BrokenSphere [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

According to fast food workers, you should avoid ordering fish sandwiches–well, maybe not all fish sandwiches, but the ones at Burger King and McDonald’s anyway. That’s because they’re not fresh. Reddit user CaseyTwist, who used to work at a McDonald’s in Canada, said that the Filet-O-Fish could sit there for a long time. Another Reddit user had this to say about the fish sandwich at Burger King: “It’s a rectangular piece of fried fish and breading. Absolutely disgusting. They also keep some surplus so they don’t have to make it new each time someone orders it, so you may be getting old fish.”

TIP: If you’re ordering a fish sandwich at McDonald’s, “just say you want a fish filet cooked to order. It will take ~5 more minutes but [it’s] worth it compared to the filet that has been in the heated cabinet for hours, “said Reddit user Exiled-Biblu.

2. Boneless Ribs

Source: Pixabay

More specifically, don’t order the McRib from McDonald’s–unless of course you don’t mind what it’s made of. According to Mental Floss, the McRib contains 70 ingredients–that’s a lot for some ribs, right? Okay, prepare to get grossed out (don’t say we didn’t warn you). So, here are some of those ingredients: pig tripe, hearts, and scalded stomachs. For those of you wondering what tripe is, it’s the lining of the pig’s stomach. Okay, so you can see that the McRib is anything but a slab of ribs. But, hey, at least they used pork to make it.

1. Coffee

Source: Pixabay

Do you like to down a cup of Joe at your local Burger King, McDonald’s, or other fast food restaurant? Here are some tips from some fast food workers on Reddit:

“Don’t get decaf coffee at Burger King. Maybe this was just the one I worked at, but we didn’t actually brew any decaf. Whenever someone ordered it, my manager would just have me water down the regular coffee.” —halnation

Another Reddit user said, “Do not buy the coffee unless it’s early morning when we first open. Otherwise, you’re gonna drink coffee that’s been sitting out for a solid five hours, at least.”


Do you have any fast food horror stories of your own to share? Use the comments section below to tell us about them. Thanks for reading!