Love it or hate it, it's hard to avoid eating at McDonald's or other fast food chains every now and then.

Those who tend to avoid it also tend to simply not have a taste for the greasy, deep-fried, not particularly healthy items on the menu.

Some even wonder if the greasy, high-calorie food is even less healthy than people think, wondering what exactly goes in the burger patties and the chicken nuggets.

A viral photo of a deep-fried rat from a New York City Popeye's only exacerbated those ever-growing conspiracy theories.

With this in mind, it would be helpful to have some first-hand knowledge from those in the kitchen at McDonald's, Burger King, and the like, to know what is and isn't safe to grab and go.


Redditor Derekbants was curious to learn from trusted sources which fast food menu items to avoid, leading them to ask:
"McDonald's workers of Reddit, what is the one menu option that you would recommend people never eat and why?"

Less The Menu Than The Location.

"Really depends on store and location."

"In my experience everything is pretty clean compared to other places I've worked."

"And because the food sits in heating trays, even the stale food is relatively safe to eat."

"They are also pretty anal with inventory and food waste."

"With the volume they push out weekly, it would be very rare for a store to have expired food."

"There is a comment in here about the grease vats not being changed."

"Maybe it was just my store, but we filtered the grease nightly, and cleaned the vat before every oil change."

"The fry vats got changed the most, due to their overuse."

"We also had constant secret shoppers and annual corporate patrons who would really judge the quality of the food."

"In all honesty, it was one of the hardest jobs I've ever worked."

"I did it all in the 6 years I was there."

"Cashier, drive thru, dishes, back end, maintenance, inventory, overnights, management."

"Pretty much every job they had, I spent time in."

"Other than the miserable treatment the employees get from the customer and corporate, the overall business and restaurant side of it is impressively streamlined."

"They have quantified almost everything."

"Maybe the only thing I'd stay away from is the birthday cake."

"I don't even know if you can still buy them, but they would be like the only item in the freezer year round until some unfortunate soul bought one."- WalterPecky

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"I worked at a burger King for a week, couldn't stand all day plus the sounds caused constant migraines."

"It was clean as you'd expect it needed to be."

"Made me feel better about eating fast food actually."

"They had a simple rule, if you wouldn't eat it or feed it to your mother then don't serve it."

"Well that plus all the other rules."- modsarefascists42

Be Selective When It Comes To Egg...

"Any of the eggs.'

'There are 2 different ones."

"When they make the scrambled they don't even cook the top of them."

"The round egg sometimes has eggs shells in them, and the folded eggs are like fake frozen squares lol."

"The only real egg is the round egg."

"And never eat the fish sandwich at night time, or the fries b4 the places closes they are not fresh and fryers are already shut off, so it just sits until someone orders it."- Bloomoon-2232

Who Cares!

"You know, no matter how many times I see something like this, it will never, ever make me stop eating fast food."- Artemis_CrabLady69

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When In Doubt Stay On Land...

"Worked at Subway 2010-12."

"Only thing I have to say is that tuna and seafood packaged used to have a label on it that said that it didn't contain dolphin or turtles in the meat, then that label suddenly disappeared in 2012."- UnitedTrout

Just When You Think You've Picked The Healthy Option!

"I worked at McDonald's this past summer, and I learned a LOT."

"My store hadn't served them since pre-COVID, but I would stray away from the salads."

"They actually often tend to have more calories than the burgers."

"Also, I wouldn't say not to eat them, but I would still be weary about the fries."

"In the two months I worked there, I think the fry oil was only changed once."- inreallife12001

"Worked at Dairy Queen for 4 years.'

"Do not order the salad, ever.'

"No one ever orders them, because it’s DQ, so when you do, it’s probably 2-3 days old."- naganol32

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Literally, Everything!

"Not a single thing off the entire menu."

"Not because of how it's prepared or sits until it's served, but because I've read the nutrition facts of most of it in paperwork and boxes, bags and things like that."

"I worked at McDs in Canton, OH on Cleveland ave."

"Pretty well-maintained, clean place staffed by competent people, on 3rd shift, anyway, but you cant get away from whats in the food no matter how its cooked or handled."

"But I will say, based on what I saw, if you're intolerant of too much sodium for any reason, STAY AWAY from the fries specifically, and asking for unsalted doesn't make a difference."

"I don't remember a number, but thats always stuck out in my mind as being crazy high whenever their nasty food comes up in conversation."- seventytwosuccubi

We must remember, should we find ourselves eating at a fast food chain or a five star restaurant, health inspectors check them regularly.

Suggesting that everything served was at the very least cooked in a sanitary environment.

What exactly was being cooked, however, might remain a mystery...