You’ll Wish You Never Read These Dirty Secrets Spilled by Former Fast Food Workers

You’ve definitely heard rumors about your favorite fast food places, but many have turned out to be urban legends. Now, it’s time to learn what actual employees have to say about fast food chains. Keep reading to hear what awful secrets they revealed — page 9 absolutely disgusts us — about the places we love to visit.

1. Spitting in food

McDonald's Reports Second Quarter Earnings and Record Sales Reflecting Revitalization Progress

Be as polite as possible. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

According to information an ex-manager of McDonald’s gave the website Delishably, employees really do spit in the food. Because this is everyone’s worst nightmare, mitigate your chances of it happening to you by being nice to the person taking your order. Very, very nice.

Next: No truth in advertising

2. Frozen, not fresh

Wendy's ad

It may be fresh, but also filthy. | Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Wendy’s

One Wendy’s ex-employee told the website whisper, “… the beef is ‘always frozen, never fresh.’” Another said, “I tell everyone it’s the best fast food quality but no one knows how filthy the store is.”

Next: Bring a hazmat suit.

3. Biological health hazard

The cutting boards are pretty gross. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Someone who worked at Subway told the Mirror that the chain’s cutting boards are a health hazard. “Trust me. We wipe them off all the time, but we only clean them twice a month,” he reported. He went on to say, “In fact, if you notice an employee wrapping your sandwich in deli paper THEN the sandwich paper, tell them the f*** not to.”

Next: Yucky yard bird

4. A chicken patty’s journey

gourmet chicken sandwich

Grilled chicken is likely sitting out for hours. | loooby/iStock/Getty Images

According to one Reddit user who worked at Sonic, you should never order the grilled chicken. Apparently it starts life as a frozen chicken patty, gets grilled, and then gets tossed into a steam broiler so it stays warm.

The Reddit user said the company’s rules stated that employees must replace the patties every two hours, but his manager would reprimand him if he pulled them out before four hours.

Next: Odious oil

5. Old oil makes for bad-tasting food

Industrial fryer at restaurant

The oil is not changed very often. | fotodrobik/iStock/Getty Images

KFC has been selling chicken since 1930 — and it remains a hugely popular American chain. But one ex-employee doesn’t think it’s so great.

He wrote on Reddit, “… we were supposed to change the fryer oil every couple days. Our penny-pinching manager had us change it every couple weeks. We’d just skim off the ‘floaters’ and cover it at night.”

Next: This will give you nightmares.

6. Rampant roaches here

Dead cockroach

The Starbucks had a serious roach infestation. | tenra/iStock/Getty Images

Another Reddit user who previously worked at Starbucks revealed some shocking information about the store where he worked. It was full of bugs.

He wrote, “I worked at a Starbucks where they allowed a full on roach infestation. They were everywhere. The pastry case, in the storage, around the dry powders but the worst was we saw one (and just to make this clear, this 100% happened) crawl out of the espresso spout in the machines. Eventually, one of our regulars put in a complaint at the health department.”

Next: Mystery meat

7. Perhaps not suitable for human consumption

Taco Bell Launches Its New Cantina Restaurant Experience

The meat is extremely questionable. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

There’s nothing quite like a meat taco at Taco Bell. Literally. One Reddit user who used to work there wrote, “… and you DO NOT want to see how the meat comes into the store. The meat we use for the tacos and other things of the sort comes in big plastic bags labeled ‘suitable for human consumption.’ They smell absolutely awful until we put the seasonings in.”

Next: Don’t return this item.

8. Fresh fries — maybe not

Fries fryer cooking

You might be getting old fries. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

That ex-manager of McDonald’s gave the website Delishably more information about the chain. He stressed that employees absolutely hate when customers say their fries are cold, even though they just came out of the fryer. He said, “When you do this, it’s the same as asking for a fresh hamburger — you’ll get old fries dunked in the oil for 15 seconds.”

Next: Gross gloves

9. Gloves don’t mean the food is clean

Female doctor's hands putting on blue sterilized surgical gloves

Those gloves aren’t as clean as you think. |

The same McDonald’s ex-manager told Delishably that the food there isn’t really sanitary. Specifically, he said, “Your food isn’t extra sanitary just because the grill workers wear gloves. Those same employees take out trash and even go to the bathroom without removing their gloves. I’ve also seen them scratch a few special places on their body while wearing gloves.” Ew. Just ew.

Next: Pastries and prices

10. Frozen pastries and high prices

selectin of pastries with calorie counts at Starbucks

The pastries are frozen. | Chris Hondros/Getty Images

A Reddit user who previously worked at Starbucks had something to say about its pastries — and its prices. He wrote, “All the pastries come frozen and we defrost them. We think they’re overpriced too, don’t complain about the price, if it’s too expensive for you then Starbucks is not the place for you. Everything is overpriced here.”

Next: Don’t ask this question.

11. Malodorous meatballs

Any hesitation means no. | iStock/Getty Images

An ex-Subway employee told the Mirror that the meatballs aren’t always super fresh. He suggests, “Early mornings ask if the meatballs are fresh. You’ll be told ‘yes’ no matter what, but if they have to go check it’s actually a guaranteed no — they’re checking to see if they can pass as fresh. Trust me, meatballs are annoying to prep, we know damn well if they’re fresh or not without needing to check.” He also cautioned about another sandwich, saying, “… just be careful about the roast beef, because that tends to go bad the quickest.”

Next: Don’t drink this at one of your favorite chains.

12. Sour milk

Jimmy Carr Launches New Stronger British Latte at Starbucks

That milk might not exactly be fresh. | Stuart Wilson/Getty Images

Another ex-Starbucks employees revealed a rather disturbing fact about the milk there. He wrote, “During rush hour, baristas often leave the milk jugs out rather than return it to the fridge between use because you’re pouring milk literally every 30 seconds. Unfortunately this means the milk temperature rises above safe levels and bacterial growth duplicates.”

Next: Don’t order these, whatever you do.

13. You might not be getting what you ordered

McDonald's Brings Back The McRib Sandwich

It’s a bait-and-switch. | David Paul Morris/Getty Images

An ex-McDonald’s manager told the website Delishably that some items aren’t exactly what they claim to be. For example, he wrote, “McRibs aren’t always McRibs. McRibs take forever to cook, and orders have to be filled quickly. In a pinch, employees throw hamburger patties in the McRib container and drench them with sauce. I never saw a customer return one, so I guess nobody notices.”

Next: Lettuce lament

14. Bad lettuce

Shredded lettuce salad

Expired, brown lettuce was fine with one manager. | Naked King/iStock/Getty Images

More from the ex-McDonald’s manager: He told Delishably a real horror story about almost being fired. He said, “The owner of one franchise I worked at threatened to fire me once. My offense? Refusing to use a case of lettuce that had expired TEN DAYS AGO. The lettuce was brown and just plain nasty. I threw it away anyway. I knew that legally, she couldn’t fire me for that — and if she did, I would have reported her the second I received my termination notice.

Next: Don’t be rude, or this might happen.

15. In a pickle

Pickled gherkins in jar, fermented food with spices

It was a weird idea to begin with. | merc67/iStock/Getty Images

Someone who used to work at Wendy’s told the website whisper that he didn’t dig when customers were rude. He wrote, “I work at Wendy’s and when people are rude to me, I put a pickle in their frosty.” Who knows, maybe it will catch on as a new menu item.

Next: Fresh off the grill

16. Be careful what you ask for

Cheeseburger on the grill

Asking for fresh food is a backhanded way to insult the restaurant. | rpernell/iStock/Getty Images

Back to McDonald’s. The ex-manager told Delishably that you really shouldn’t ask for food fresh off the grill. It annoys the employees, and it “…will not really get you fresh food. It’ll get you a dried up hamburger patty dunked in grease so that it looks fresh. It’s insulting to ask for fresh food at a store where the food is actually fresh.”

Next: Be nice, or you might get something other than what you asked for.

17. Bait-and-switch

barista at Starbucks uses a market to label a drink

Be nice to your barista, or you may get decaf. | Dan R. Krauss/Getty Images

According to one Reddit user who worked at Starbucks, if you’re rude to a barista you might just get decaf shots in your drink. Or if you’re rude and “you order a skinny drink, someone might use real syrup.”

Next: Possibly the grossest thing on the list

18. Unsanitary practices

The Wendy’s sign

Why someone would do that and then have no shame in admitting it is crazy. | Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

A Wendy’s ex-employee told the website whisper something so awful it’s difficult to type. According to the employee, “I work at Wendy’s for a living and literally never wash my hands or wear gloves while making food.” 

Read more: These Are the Unhealthiest Fast Food Chains in America

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