Fast food: we all have a love-hate relationship with it. True, we know it’s probably not the best for us. And the ingredients are probably not as fresh as what you’ll find at Whole Foods…or even that locally owned grocery store that always smells kind of like stale bread. But, most importantly, it tastes oh-so-good, and there are certainly worse things in life than questionable chicken.
While some menu items aren’t terrible, there are a few particularly bad offenders that are worth mentioning. Former employees of certain fast food joints, as well as food industry insiders, have dished about which meals you should never, not even with a 10-foot fork, get near.
1.) McDonald’s McNuggets
Question: How long does a chicken nugget at McDonald’s sit around until it’s deemed too old to be sold to a customer?
Answer: Infinity, it seems. The nuggets will sit around for an indefinite amount of time until they’re sold to a customer. If you don’t want a nugget that’s been sitting under a heating lamp for who-knows-how-long, always specify that you would like a “fresh order of McNuggets.” Even then, we can’t promise you’ll get what you asked for.
2.) Wendy’s chili
The meat in the chili is whatever scraps have been scraped up and collected from the grill throughout the day. The unused, sometimes expired beef will sit in a container until there’s enough material to make a batch of chili by mixing the leftovers with rehydrated beans and water. Yum…
3.) Anything “Eggs” at Einstein Bros Bagels
Sure, the bagels are delicious, but you might want to steer clear of their egg sandwiches. That fluffy yellow stuff isn’t real eggs. Plus, if it’s a slow day, the yellow scramble might sit in a warmer for a long time after they’ve been microwaved.
4.) McDonald’s McCafé drinks
Sure they’re cheap and easy when you’re late to work and need that caffeine boost, but think again the next time you’re considering stopping at McDonald’s for your morning cup of joe. The McCafe machine is the least attended-to machine in the whole restaurant, and not all employees are trained on how to clean it properly. It’s not unusual for it to go untended to for longer than any of us would care to know.
5.) Random restaurant lemons
Who doesn’t like a little flavor in that boring old water? Well, the lemons that go into your water aren’t always handled as up-to-code as the rest of the food at a restaurant. They could end up introducing a whole slew of bacteria into that otherwise refreshing glass of ice water. Actually, the ice might also have come from a dirty ice machine. Bottom line: pass on the lemon and ice next time.
6.) Panera pastries
Yep, those delicious bear claws and danishes arrive at the store frozen. They’re just heated up at the store. Best to stick with their fresh salads and sandwiches if you take a trip to Panera.
7.) Panera pasta
The pasta at Panera is another item that arrives at the store frozen, even though it seems like it’s made right in the kitchen. Again, if you’re at Panera, opt for a salad or a sandwich.
8.) Anything “Steak” or “Beans” from Taco Bell
How does chowing down on a sandwich of hair gel sound? Not good? When Taco Bell’s steak sits around for too long, it starts to take on the consistency of hair gel. This leads me to wonder what exactly is keeping it in its steak-like form before it reaches the breaking point?
Oh, and the beans? They’re made of an undisclosed rehydrated mix of ingredients.
9.) Starbucks secret menu items
If you’re a control freak, you’ll probably want to stick to the written menu items, because if you order from the “secret menu,” you’re pretty much giving that individual barista complete freedom with what goes into your drink. Even if you ordered the same thing last week and loved it, it will probably be completely different when you order it the second time.
10.) Dunkin’ Donuts donuts
I’m really sorry to break your heart, but they’re not baked on premises. They’re delivered frozen and reheated by employees. Honestly, I’m not gonna lie, I’ll probably still eat them.
11.) Dunkin’ Donuts sandwiches
Everything comes prefabricated and frozen – including the eggs. Maybe just stick with the coffee there (with the occasional donut mixed in).
12.) Movie theater popcorn for matinees
Popcorn at the movies is pretty much a necessity, but you may want to skip the tradition if you’re seeing an earlier show. What do you think happens to the popcorn that doesn’t get sold at last night’s midnight showing? That’s right, it get’s tossed into garbage bags and reheated in the morning. Plus, it’s WAY overpriced. You can buy a whole tub of raw kernels for a tiny fraction of the price of a medium movie theater popcorn, and it’ll last you for weeks longer. Not to mention, you can quality control the toppings.
13.) Stadium hot dogs
Sure, these might be the highlight of a baseball game for non-fans, but you might want to stick to peanuts and Cracker Jacks next time. These scrumptious looking ballpark franks could be a MONTH old. Gross. The unsold dogs are kept hydrated in water and just reheated at the next event.
14.) 7-Eleven Slurpees
I know, we’re about to ruin another fond childhood. Here’s the deal: There’s more mold in those magical mixing Slurpee machines than you want to know. Let’s just say, it’s more than zero mold.
15.) Sonic’s chicken sandwich
It’s not real chicken, and it comes frozen. It’s also not a very popular item, so it will probably sit in the freezer for a long while before it reaches your mouth.
16.) KFC BBQ sandwiches
This may very well be the worst of them all. The chicken used for the BBQ sandwich is so incredibly stale, that homeless shelters won’t even take it in order to feed the hungry. So, instead of throwing the ingredients out, KFC soaks the chicken in the bbq sauce to make it more palatable, and then keeps it in a warmer for a month.
(via Minq, FoodBeast, E Online)
Ick. I knew these places were bad, but I didn’t know that it would be THAT bad. Definitely not ever ordering chicken or eggs from anywhere…ever again. But, don’t judge me for ordering a donut at Dunkin’ every now and then.