McDonald’s is an American institution that is a top five company, easily, that people list when they think of the most omnipresent companies in North America (and really the world), next to Starbucks, Subway and that sketchy taco truck that every city has. If you’ve seen the movie The Founder with Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc aka “the founder” of McDonald’s, you’ll know that McDonald’s came around at the perfect time. That time was during America’s infatuation with hamburgers and laissez-faire attitude towards the food they ingested and health in general (to the point that if you traveled back in time to the 1950’s to go for a jog, you’d end up getting tackled by some guy that works at a gas station but still wears a three-piece suit because the assumption would be that you had to be running away from something). These days people are a lot more conscious of what they put into their bodies and so we went to Reddit to find out the Top 10 McDonald’s items that people on Reddit say you should NEVER eat.
10. McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets
According to Reddit user /u/Ritch88, you the only time you should ask for Chicken McNuggets is when you know they’re fresh. Otherwise, you’ll end up getting some nuggets that have been sitting under that heating light for a fair amount of time. The question is, how do you discern the time(s) to go when you’ll be guaranteed fresh nuggets? That’s hard to say, you’d think that going during a busy time would be the best time to go as the workers have to be going through nuggets like crazy. However, that’s actually pretty hit and miss and according to Ritch, when the timer goes off (that dictates when you should throw away food as it’s been sitting too long) most employees, at least at the McDonald’s he worked at, just reset the timer. The actual best way to know is by waiting until you see cars parked waiting for their food, that means that the workers are making a fresh batch of nuggets, which takes time (hence the parked car). Otherwise, it’s really quite the crapshoot, which is always a good frame of mind when you’re going into mass produced and cooked chicken products.
9. McDonald’s McCafe
Reddit user /u/Envirometh was a current employee at the time of his breakdown, past tense, because I’m sure that McDonald’s tracked him down and ended his career because like Baskin Robbins, McDonald’s always finds out. According to Envirometh, he never lets anyone that he cares about order anything out of the McCafe machine as they are routinely “neglected”. That means that they aren’t cleaned, something that runs contrary to the idea of McAfee, which was launched and branded as the high-end version of McDonald’s coffee. Of the McAfee machine, McAfee says: There is a compartment that catches the coffee/espresso grounds and when you take it out there is a hole that gives you access to the inside of the machine. Very dark, can’t be taken apart without someone specialized in servicing it coming it, and normally needs special brushes to be cleaned – I’ve been to a couple different McDonalds and have never seen anyone have the proper ones. A couple of times I stuck my hand in the machine to pull out a literal fist-full of black soot to show to the managers that it’s not in proper condition, and nothing has come of it. The insides are caked with it, the lines where the product comes out as well.
8. McDonald’s Smoothies
It turns out that /u/Envirometh was a fountain of information as he also discussed the smoothie machine(s) that he’s been witness to and while those apparently are cleaned more often, it’s the way that they’re cleaned that raises an issue (or 10). He claims in his post that people at the restaurant that he worked at would clean the smoothie machine with glass cleaner, meaning that you’re getting a side of Windex with your strawberry smoothie. It might just be because he was afraid of the backlash, but Envirometh claims that he attempts to dissuade customers from ordering smoothies by saying that the machine is down for “routine maintenance”, which isn’t that big of a deal because he works nights. Or I should say, used to work nights, as like I said in the entry above… McDonald’s always finds out. Unless you’re using glass cleaner to clean a machine that serves smoothies, of course.
7. McDonald’s “Decaf” Coffee
If you’re the type of person that loves the bitter taste of coffee, but can’t handle the caffeine for any number of reasons, you might want to skip ordering decaf at McDonald’s or any fast food restaurant. According to Reddit user /u/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.”
So that explains why you got all jittery from the last cup of decaf you got. But then again, it sort of serves you right as coffee only exists as a vessel for caffeine, so… Why?
6. McDonald’s Hot Dogs
McDonald’s made a huge deal out of their new hotdogs about a year ago and while some people scoffed at the idea of buying a fast food hot dog (something about that just sounds off), a lot of people were excited that they’d be able to kill themselves faster by ordering a hot dog alongside their hamburger(s). According to Reddit user FreakyCheeseMan, whose name holds up, you really shouldn’t have been ordering those hot dogs. Of those dogs, he said: 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.”
5. The McDonald’s “Secret Menu”
Anyone who’s spent time online will have at some point come across the rumor that McDonald’s and other fast food places have “secret menus” that contain special/magical foodstuffs. That’s not just some random 4chan or Dark Web theory, “legitimate” sites like the Huffington Post have posted articles declaratively stating that McDonald’s does indeed have a secret menu (and they’ve posted articles stating which items you can get from those menus). The best example they list is the “Air, Sea and Land Burger”, a burger that contains the patty of a filet of fish, McChicken and a regular burger. While it sounds disgusting the real problem is that chickens can’t actually fly, oh and that ordering something like that really, really pisses off fast food workers. According to Reddit user Ssutuanjoe: “but apparently when customers order [secret menu items], every employee in the restaurant hates you.” So, unless you add spit to the secret menu items, you’re probably better off not ordering these monstrosities.
4. Gimme that Filet of Fish [McDonald’s Filet of Fish]
While you’d think that the biggest iffy item on any fast food menu, outside of hotdogs (or McRibs), it turns out that the worst thing that you can order from a fast food menu in terms of your overall health is anything fish related. When it comes to McDonald’s that means their legendary Filet o’ Fish, a sandwich that is basically breaded fish, tartar sauce, like three shards of lettuce and buns. According to 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.” That wasn’t just the warning of one employee, either, as Reddit user phillipssyndrome also commented that when it comes to the Filet of Fish: “I would never trust ANYONE cooking ANY fish.”
3. McDonald’s Milkshakes
Most of the entries on this list have to do either with general disgustingness, the chance that you’ll end up with spit in your food or food that is just stale. This entry is different in that it could actually kill you, that is if you have any serious allergies to fruit. According to a Reddit user: “We do not clean the mixer very well, and it’s used for smoothies and milkshakes. Like, we’re TOLD to just half-ass it. In the training video. It’s f*cking ridiculous.” That means that your vanilla shake has some remnants of the smoothie that was running through the machine previously and if you’ve paid attention to this list you’ll know that that also means that you’re getting some window cleaner in there as well. While that sounds like the recipe to a Flaming Homer, it could actually end up meaning a Flaming Intestine. So, it’s best you steer clear of shakes, and yes that includes the Shamrock Shake, unfortunately.
2. The McDonald’s McRib
It’s the McRib. End of Entry.
Actually, there’s a lot more to it and while it’s not that surprising, it’s still disgusting enough for this entry to nearly top this list. The McRib has built a cult-like following and a mythical aura as it seems to come and go randomly every couple of years. It turns out that it’s not that random as the ironically named Dr_Drunk points out on Reddit, stating: “You ever notice that the McRib coming back isn’t on any set schedule? It is directly tied to pork production over the year. If pork is having a booming year, expect to see it come back a few times. In lacking years maybe it will be once. They save all the pork byproducts and when there is enough to fulfill a Mcdicks order they sell it.” That means that McDonald’s really is only bringing back the McRib when they can maximize their profits on the sandwich. A sandwich named a McRib despite having no ribs ruined by a “Doctor” who is also an alcoholic. Welcome to the internet.
1. The Ice, Ice Baby
Typically when people order pops without ice it means that they have issues with their teeth and the cold temperature hurts them, or it means that they want to mix liquor in with their diet coke. However, after reading this article you’ll probably want to join that group of people who clearly have their stuff together as multiple McDonald’s (and fast food workers in general) employees state that the most disgusting part of their restaurant(s) is, in fact, the ice machine. Reddit user hardshell1919 said: “I’ve worked at 4 restaurants in my life and lemons and ice are by far the most disgusting things you can get.” Beyond that, Reddit user littlebosheep also stated: “Even with regular cleaning ice machines are disgusting.” So, get ready for your “Air, Land and Sea burger” and room temperature Sprite. The breakfast of champs.