20 Horror Stories From Ex-McDonald’s Employees

Have you watched that movie "The Founder"? Starring Michael Keaton as businessman Ray Kroc, it portrays the story of his creation of the McDonald's fast-food restaurant chain. Today, McDonald's is one of the biggest employers in the U.S.

Or how about "Super Size Me"? The documentary by Morgan Spurlock, following him over a 30-day period during which he ate only McDonald's food. We feel someone should make a movie that shows us what the McDonald's employees have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. Many of them have posted some of their worst horror stories on Reddit. Some learned nasty secrets regarding the food, some sparred with rude customers, while others worked in hazardous kitchens. And you'll probably never go near a PlayPlace again after reading this. Here are some of the juiciest stories from McDonald's employees.

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20 They Aren't Real Onions

via NPR

In a Quora thread regarding McDonald’s, one woman who claimed to be a Produce Manager claimed the onions used on the burgers aren't "exactly 100% real onions." They’re actually dehydrated onions that are dumped into a five-gallon bucket with water and left to sit, and someone will occasionally stir it before it's placed in the back of the walk-in fridge.

19 Old Food Isn't Always Thrown Out

via Flickr

On a Quora thread, one former employee said: “Once the food was cooked, it went into a warming bin. Each bin had a timer on it, and once that went off, you were supposed to toss the food. We only used those timers if a health inspector showed up, or the ‘big boss’ was there. Other than that, we ignored the timers and kept everything in the warming bins until sold.”

18 Wash Hands Before Handling Food?

via Takepart

One former employee said that "No one really washed their hands every hour or whatever while making sandwiches, the only time people washed hands were if they were cooking meat and dealing with raw food." Perhaps something to consider next time you watch them prepare your food.

17 You Don't Want The Ice Cream

via Business Insider

You might want to rethink that McFlurry, because according to employees, the ice cream machines usually aren’t super clean. Reddit user Plaid-pancake said in a thread, “My friend had a job cleaning the ice cream machines. Just be glad when they tell you they’re broken.” Other threads included comments about how the ice cream machine isn’t cleaned regularly because it’s so annoying to do so.

16 Buns On The Floor And Old Salads

via Mashed

In a revealing Reddit thread, an anonymous former McD's worker shared stories from four years of shifts at an Ohio restaurant. He claimed he had seen colleagues drop burger buns on the floor and then serve them, that the salad at his branch was never freshly cut - though it always remained in the refrigerator until it was served, and he once worked with a colleague who spat in someone's food.

15 McHeart Attack - Literally

via Pinterest

One employee said; "As I was about to take the order, the customer just fell over while having a heart attack. Everyone froze and I ran and told the manager to call an ambulance, which she promptly did. But the sick part is, while this man was lying on the floor turning blue and dying three feet from me, my other managers told me I was required to keep working."

14 Don't Let Your Kids In The Ball Pit

via Parentmap

Several workers have complained about the play areas, one said: "The location I worked at had a Play Place with a giant ball pit. After working there, I'll never let any kid I know enter one of those. The number of soiled diapers and the fact that there was a floor drain under it for the urine should scare any sane person away."

13 Deep-Fried McArm

via Cartalk

An employee who had worked at an Oklahoma McDonald's for 3 years witnessed a coworker reach into a deep fryer, barehanded, up to his elbow, to retrieve a wayward McNugget. This was followed by the worst scream anyone had ever heard, and when he yanked his arm out of the fryer, an arc of hot grease shot across the room and hit some girl in the face.

12 Another Fried Arm

via Shutterstock

Apparently, putting their arms in the fryer is more common amongst employees than we though. One person said there was a kid who had taken a bet that he couldn't hold his arm in the fryer while wearing a giant oven mitt for 10 seconds. Needless to say, he made it about 3 seconds before the oil soaked through and burned his arm so it was nice and crispy.

11 Don't Look Behind The Grill

via Business Insider

One former employee says he or she was tasked with cleaning behind the grill. "The accumulation of grease, dropped, rotting meat and chicken products that were festering underneath were enough to give me nightmares. The grease was pooled on the floor and there were grease stalagmites on the ground. Trapped in the burnt and encrusted filth were hundreds of flies."

10 Did They Put This In The Job Description?

via Pinterest

PatchworkBoy87 on Reddit says he's a former McDonalds crew member and he had to perform some nasty jobs while working there. Once he even had to hand scoop the vomit of a five-year-old out of a urinal. We doubt they told him he would have to do that when he applied for the job.

9 Unhealthy Chicken Sandwich

via Reddit

Two McDonald's crew members told Business Insider they steered clear of the chain's grilled chicken sandwiches because they were slathered in margarine at the time and therefore less healthy than they appeared. This is food that McD claims is a healthier choice, but margarine is far from healthy and we're definitely staying away from those sandwiches from now on.

8 More Unhealthy Healthy Options

via The Daily Meal

An employee from Minnesota said they wouldn't go anywhere near some of the chain's ostensibly healthier options: the salads. "The caloric count in the items is astronomical." The Southwest buttermilk crispy chicken salad comes in at 520 calories, the bacon ranch salad with buttermilk crispy chicken boasts 490 calories, and the bacon ranch grilled chicken salad has 320 calories. For comparison, a Big Mac sandwich is 540 calories.

7 Having To Deal With Creepy People

via Pinterest

Several employees have talked about having to deal with some seriously creepy customers. One 16-year old girl who worked at the drive-thru window once encountered a nasty old man who was watching "adult entertainment" on two separate smartphones as he was ordering his food. Clearly, some people shouldn't be allowed in public.

6 Flying Oatmeal

via Pinterest

Angry fast-food customers are nothing new, but one Maccy D employee told Business Insider about an encounter with one particularly aggressive customer at the drive-thru. "One time, a woman threw her oatmeal at me through the drive-thru window because I was trying to make sure that I heard her coffee order correctly."

5 Food Throwing Customers

via dynamic media

Turns out oatmeal isn't the only thing customers will throw at the staff. One former employee said: "I had a customer throw his burger at my face at 1:00 in the morning because his pickle was "not in the center of the freakin bun."" Others say customers have thrown their coffees at them for not making it exactly the way they want it.

4 Sick Kids In The Play Area

via Caterer Middle East

Remember when we told you about the ball pit in the play area? Turns out the entire area should be avoided, not just the ball pit. "One time a kid had diarrhea inside the play place. I've usually got a pretty strong stomach for these things, but the stench was mortifying. It took two hours to clean up."

3 Smoking Hot

via Youtube

Customers with cigarettes seem to be another occupational hazard. "The customer in my drive-thru started complaining. Then he flicked his cigarette at me. I was about to hand him his drink and by reflex, I threw it at him. I was the only manager there at the time, so I didn't get in trouble." That's sweet revenge.

2 A Trip To The E.R.

via MCW

Sometimes it's not the customers who injure the McDonald's staff. "When we were really busy at 1 a.m., someone didn't scrape down and clean the grill before it was my turn to take over. This resulted in oils jumping into my face causing temporary blindness and a trip to the emergency room." At least they got some time off from work.

1 Permanently Smelling Of Fries

via Pinterest

It might smell delicious when you're starving and you walk through the doors to your favorite fast-food joint, but imagine having to live with that smell 24/7. Here's what one employee said about that: "My skin permanently smelled like fries. Every shift. It goes through your clothes. Even my backpack smelled."

Sources: Reddit: Business Insider, So Yummy

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