Monday, July 16, 2012
Grilled chicken, dirty ice and don't you dare touch that ketchup bottle: The dangers of fast food choices by people who work in the joints
A ex-Wendy's employee alleged the Chili was made from burgers too old to sell
A Subway worker advised customers to look at the colour of the tuna as a sign of the branch's overall cleanliness
Workers warned about the lack of cleaning to condiment bottles and ice machines
Next time you're in a fast-food joint steer clear of the chicken options, be wary of ice machines and use ketchup bottles with caution, restaurant workers have warned in a candid online discussion.
Social news website Reddit asked fast food employees for ‘the one menu option at your employment that you would recommend people never eat?'
Within 24 hours, the conversation generated more than 6,000 comments revealing the alleged dodgy practices in fast-food chains, including some branches of Wendy’s, McDonalds and Subway.
Warned: Fast food workers have drawn attention to mouldy ice machines and suspect cooking practices in various chains, including McDonalds, Wendy's and Subway
The thread also offers some useful tips for customers to be aware of including, mouldy ice machines and how condiment containers can be endlessly refilled without being cleaned.
Chicken nuggets and grilled chicken were repeat offenders throughout the thread with workers confessing to using lots of grease to keep chicken from sticking. Unsurprisingly, chicken nuggets, often in the headlines for suspect ingredients, came under fire again.
One former McDonald’s employee warned against the chicken nuggets recalling: ‘I accidentally left a whole bag of about 100 chicken nuggets out on a counter for way too long. They melted. Into a pool of liquid. I never understood why. But they were completely indiscernible as being the nuggets I once knew.'
Repeat offender: One ex McDonalds worker recalled a bag of chicken nuggets bizarrely melting into mush
However, beware ordering a grilled chicken sandwich as a 'healthy option' instead.
One McDonald’s employee detailed the amount of margarine used to keep the chicken from sticking to the grill.
‘We use three squirts of liquid margarine on the bottom of it. To keep it juicy, once we've lain the frozen blocks of chicken, three more squirts of liquid margarine are applied to the tops.’
Meanwhile at one Subway branch the defrosting process used for grilled chicken involves leaving the frozen meat in hot water for hours before wringing them of liquid at the end of the day, one worker testified.
When it came to hygiene matters ice machines were highlighted as a hazard with Reddit pointing to the apparent difficulty in keeping them clean and free of mould.
Similarly, comments suggested that communal condiment bottles were re-filled without being cleaned first.
An ex-Subway employee noted that the state of particular branches ‘can often tell you how well that particular place is kept in terms of food safety.’
That employee looked out for food on the floor and the colour of the tuna mix as indicators to gauge the overall cleanliness of a branch.
Wendy's beef chili recipe caused controversy with an ex-Wendy's worker warning of the chain's chili recipe, which he alleged is made from left-over beef patties.
'The meat comes from hamburger patties that sat on the grill too long to serve to customers. They take them and put them in a bin and then throw them in the fridge. When the chili is made they take it out, boil it, chop it up and dump them in the chili.'
Greasy: One McDonalds worker detailed the six squirts of margarine he used to stop grilled chicken from sticking to the grill or being too dry (file photo)
Veggie options were also mentioned and non-meat eaters will be appalled by the anecdotes of using the same cooking equipment for vegetarian and meat items.
Wendy's Chili: A former Wendy's employee said the Chili recipe involved boiling burgers that has sat on the grill too long to be sold to customers
Not just what you choose off the menu but when you go to the restaurants was also mentioned.
The insider experts suggest that visiting a restaurant towards closing time was ill-advised, especially in pizza places which sell by the slice.
Sitting under heaters all day the pizzas have developed a 'cardboard-like' texture by closing time, a worker wrote.
A Five Guys employee painted the burger chain in a good light claiming that nothing was frozen and most things were made from fresh.
However, the worker advised customers to order regular sized fries. ‘Ordering a large fry is always a bad idea. The difference between a large fry and a regular fry is surprisingly small (especially when it's busy).'
At the end of June a McDonald’s worker lifted the lid on what it is really like to work at the fast food giant.
Burgers and chicken are left to stew for ‘hours on end’ whilst staff moan about having to make Happy Meals as they are time-consuming, he said.
He also claimed that some staff at his branch deal marijuana from the parking lot and that if somebody comes in high they will ‘practically give you free food’.
Heather Oldani, a spokeswoman for McDonalds, said that much of the Reddit conversation regarding the restaurant was 'inaccurate.'
'Customers can trust McDonald's to provide them with food that is real and made with high quality ingredients from the most trusted suppliers. In fact, we use some of the same trusted brands our customers serve at home and can buy in their local grocery store.
'Our Chicken McNuggets in particular are made with white meat. Tales of Chicken McNuggets "melting" fall in the realm of urban legend and other misinformation about Chicken McNuggets,' a statement read.