Let’s face it, most of us have our fast food guilty pleasures that we cannot help but to indulge in once in a while. Online, people share their own personal horror stories about some of the items from America’s most popular fast food chains. Here are 10 Fast Food Items You Should Never Order According to Reddit.
10. Chili from Wendy’s
Former Wendy’s employees on Reddit claim that there is one main menu item that they highly discourage customers from ordering. Although Wendy’s is well-known for their square-shaped burgers and delicious creamy Frosty’s, they carry a lot of other unique menu items, some that apparently are not worth your time (or the potential stomach ache). The menu item that should be left off of your order, according to Reddit, is Wendy’s chili. Wendy’s claims that the chili is full of fresh, hearty fillings including beans and beef. This doesn’t sound too crazy, right? Well, apparently the beef that is in Wendy’s chili is actually the meat from burgers from the previous night. A lot of the meat that gets overcooked throughout the day ends up in the chili a day later. Additionally, former employees claim that the chili is not fresh to begin with and that it is frozen and thawed multiple times, essentially until it is all sold. The idea that a mixture with beans and meat and other ingredients is being re-heated over and over again, doesn’t make it sound very appealing. This is probably why Wendy’s leaves this part out of their description of the item! Is the chili worth buying? If you don’t have an issue with older meat being reused, you probably will still buy it – we never judge.
9. Milkshakes from Sonic (or anywhere really)
Milkshakes as a whole seem to not have a good reputation among fast food employees across the board. It seems these high-calorie, creamy treats are a total mess when it comes to hygiene and preparation. A former Sonic employee took to Reddit to explain that the milkshake machines are often the hardest to clean and so they’re the thing that is the most overlooked in the restaurant. This lack of cleaning tends to lead to a build-up of ‘chunky solids’ and this employee suggested skipping milkshakes from fast food chains for this very reason – not just Sonic. Another reason not to order a milkshake? They are full of sugar, fat, and usually have more calories than advertised. It seems that because employees sometimes put less or more of the milkshake product in their cups, depending who is preparing the drink, the nutritional value that you often find online or in-store may not be as accurate as you think. If you are trying to be a bit more health conscious, milkshakes should probably take a back seat for now. Overall, maybe it’s best to leave milkshakes off of your future orders (at least until you know those machines are clean!
8. Subway’s Tuna
We love a good sandwich. Bread, meat, vegetables, condiments, cheese?! All of these things are perfect on their own, so of course they’re amazing when put together. One thing we really can’t resist? The smell of Subway, when the doors open and the aroma of freshly baked bread hits you – it’s hard to imagine anything better. However, there seems to be some controversy over one specific type of sandwich that can be ordered from the popular chain. According to Reddit, current and former employees of Subway believe that the one sandwich to avoid is the tuna sandwich. Fish is always a touchy choice, but apparently, there are valid reasons why this is the case at Subway. Apparently, the tuna that Subway uses is always just a bit, well, funky. The tuna salad they make in-house is mostly mayo, so it definitely isn’t a healthy choice despite being advertised as one. In addition to this, they tend to keep it a bit longer than the other proteins available, often using the same tuna for a few days, despite the fact that it sits out on the counter for a majority of the time. The thought of re-refrigerated tuna being put on a sandwich and sold does not sound very appetizing to us. If there was a way to be assured that the tuna was prepared fresh each morning, most of these apprehensions would disappear. As one current Subway employee on Reddit suggested: just skip the fish.
7. Mashed Potatoes (in general)
There are so many sides to order from fast food restaurants that it can sometimes be difficult to choose just one. From french fries to onion rings, there is always a perfect accompaniment to be had with your main meal. One side that is offered at places such as KFC and Popeyes, is mashed potatoes. Creamy, soft, and reminiscent of Thanksgiving, mashed potatoes are a great side to have with a meal, especially chicken. However, there is one thing about fast food mashed potatoes that have made employees of fast food restaurants discourage customers from ordering them. On Reddit, a current employee of KFC explained that their mashed potatoes are made from powdered potatoes and that they are by no means fresh. The same employee said that the same applies to the gravy that is often served with the mashed potatoes, it is simply a powder that is mixed with water. Now, powdered potatoes are not the craziest thing, you can purchase them in the grocery store and many families use powdered potatoes on a regular basis – it’s a lot easier to add some water to a powder than it is to boil and mash potatoes by hand – we totally get it. Employees of KFC on Reddit claimed that although it isn’t the grossest thing (to eat powdered potatoes) they would always recommend ordering fries instead – and we are more than happy to oblige.
6. Ice (yes, basic ice)
Now, this one sounds a bit generic, doesn’t it? The number one thing that kept coming up on Reddit in regards to things you should never order, had to do with something that we never even thought about – ice! When we order drinks at fast food restaurants, we tend to trust that whoever is filling our cups with ice and soda, is following basic hygiene-related rules. However, according to employees from various fast food chains, the ice you get is usually not that clean. One former manager of a Starbucks stated pretty bluntly on Reddit that people should stay away from the ice at the popular coffee chain. He explained that the ice machines along with the ice bins are never cleaned, and when they are, they usually find mold hidden away. Who knows how long before someone notices? Although most ice bins have a cover on top to avoid any cross-contamination or anything falling into the ice, they revealed that they usually forget to cover it during busy shifts. Having the ice uncovered has led to multiple ick-worthy situations. No one wants anything but ice floating in their cup – the thought of anything else is simply cringe-worthy. The same goes for the ice machines, the same ones that you see employees at your favorite fast food chains pressing down on at a soda fountain to dispense your ice. These machines are rarely cleaned and this often leads to the build-up of secret, hidden mildew and mold. It’s probably best to skip the ice, and hey, you end up with more soda in your cup anyways!
5. McDonald’s Fries (with no salt)
When you think of McDonalds, you can automatically smell the aroma of their famous fresh, crispy fries. Globally known for being delicious, these fries are one of the best things to order from the popular chain and it’s pretty difficult to find anyone who disagrees. However, did you know that some people order these fries in a very specific way? Although fries do not seem like something you can customize, as you do a burger or a sandwich, people actually try to do it all the time! According to Reddit, there is nothing more annoying to McDonald’s workers than people ordering fries ‘without salt’. It seems customers of the well-known fast food chain are trying their best to obtain fresh fries every time they go to McDonalds by asking for them to be made salt-free and then asking for separate salt packets from employees. Cheeky, huh? This essentially forces the McDonald’s employee to make a whole new batch of fries without salt which can be pretty time consuming, especially because it doesn’t seem like this request is being made to help individuals’ sodium levels. A former McDonalds employee took to Reddit to explain that when customers make this request, employees tend to pretend that they have run out of salt packets, just to prove a point. The same employee suggested next time, instead of ordering McDonald’s fries ‘without salt’, people should simply ask for fresh fries and they will oblige. It may take a little longer, but at least you won’t have an angry employee handling the food you are about to eat. Although we all want fresh fries, we should probably be a bit more mindful of how we ask for them in the future. Also, who really wants fries without salt?!
4. Taco Bell’s Ground Beef
It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t enjoy a good taco or burrito and Taco Bell is often a great choice for those seeking ones that are tasty and cheap. Although you probably don’t think twice about how the meat at Taco Bell is prepared, there seems to be a bit of cause for concern. A former Taco Bell employee took to Reddit to warn potential customers to avoid eating the ground beef from the Tex-Mex chain. The reason? He claims that the process to heat and ‘cook’ the beef is pretty disturbing. Apparently, Taco Bell’s ground beef arrives frozen to the different branches and it also arrives in a bag. In order to heat the meat, employees boil this bag and watch as the meat turns to a brown, but sometimes grey, color. This process sounds less than appealing, however, once seasoning is added and the meat is seen by the customer, it looks absolutely fine. Another Reddit user suggested sticking to the other meats that Taco Bell offers, such as their shredded chicken. If you don’t have an issue with meat that is boiled in a bag, then keep on buying those tacos – we won’t blame you (they taste pretty good).
3. Chicken from Domino’s
There are so many different pizza toppings to choose from that it can be difficult to decide what kind of pie you want to order. From a simple cheese pizza to a meat-lovers delight, pizza is one of the most customizable fast food items that you can get. An ex Domino’s worker posted on Reddit about his experience working for the popular chain in the UK. It seemed that there is one meat topping that he believes people should stay away from. What is it? Chicken! This ex-employee explained that the chicken that Domino’s uses on top of their pizza is usually really old. At his specific location, managerial staff would re-date the chicken so that it could be used for longer, meaning some of the chicken that customers are consuming could be well out of date. He also added to this post that the chicken wasn’t stored properly. As this is one ex-employees experience, this may not be true for all Domino’s locations. But odds are, if it’s happening in one, it’s happening in another. Maybe we’ll pass on the chicken just to be safe.
2. Panera Bread’s Soup (amongst other things)
Although no one expects fast food restaurants to provide them with an extremely fresh, gourmet meal, there is a general expectation that the food being served was prepared with care. One former Panera Bread employee took to Reddit to give their take on the company’s food. One thing that this employee mentioned was that the soups from Panera Bread used to arrive frozen to their store in a plastic bag, much like the meat from Taco Bell mentioned earlier. Just like Taco Bell, the employees heat the soup while it is in the bag by placing it in a pot of boiling water. When the soup has fully thawed, the bag is subsequently opened, and moved into a different bag until served. You may be thinking, what’s the matter with some frozen soup reheated? Well, it’s not only the soup that arrives and is heated this way, the pasta they receive also follows the same process. As Panera Bread does advertise as being a more ‘fresh’ fast food restaurant, it is surprising that their food is anything but that. In fact, the same ex-employee told fellow Reddit users about how the bread from Panera is not even freshly baked in the store. Bread arrives to the store only slightly baked and the employees finish baking it in the store to provide the illusion that it was baked on-site. Lots of mixed signals coming from Panera Bread, but a bit of reheating and extra baking never hurt anyone – right?
1. Orange Chicken from Panda Express
Panda Express is a fast food classic for those who love American Chinese food. The company was started in 1983 in California and has since opened locations all across the world. There are so many great signature dishes, from Black Pepper Angus Steak, to Kung Pao Chicken, among many others. One of the most famous items from Panda Express is their Original Orange Chicken, made up of crispy nuggets of chicken tossed in a delicious orange sauce that is somehow both sweet and very spicy. As famous as this item is, it has found some controversy online as to why it should be avoided at all costs. One user took to Reddit to explain why their Original Orange Chicken shouldn’t be ordered. The first reason given was that the oil that Panda Express uses is old and unfiltered. The second reason was that this specific meal at Panda Express actually has a ridiculous amount of sugar in it, even more than is advertised online or in-store. Panda Express claims that per 5.7 oz serving of their Original Orange Chicken, there is 19g of sugar. Although some may argue that if Panda Express uses oranges in their recipe that of course there is sugar, the majority of the sugar in this meal is added. Still thinking about ordering this meal? Another Reddit user claims that they keep the older pieces of fried chicken for way too long, eventually using the orange sauce to make the chicken appear fresher and moister. But users on Reddit couldn’t deny one thing, the Original Orange Chicken is still absolutely delicious.