There are certain things on menus across the country you should never, ever order, either for sanitary reasons, for food quality reasons or because it'll really, really piss the employees off. And you know what happens when you mess with the people who handle your food.
Keep in mind that a lot of these issues are due to poor management and vary from franchise to franchise, meaning not all Taco Bells will be guilty of what foul practice one T.B. employee is revealing. Plus, many servers and bartenders have some tips for you, too. Basically, the ice machine is a death trap that will surely bring about the end of mankind.
So before you head out to lunch/dinner/middle of the night shame-eating fest, here are 14 menu items you should probably avoid:
1. Lemons and ice
Ice machines, even when cleaned regularly, are still disgusting in general, and if there isn't anything to scoop the ice with, guess what employees will use? And if you want lemon with your water, think againk. Many Reddit employees of restaurants reveal that lemons are often not washed before slicing, they sit out all day/night and they are handled with bare hands a lot. So maybe just order water, no ice, hold the lemon?
2. Certain Subway sandwiches
There were plenty of Subyway employees warning people that most seafood sandwiches and the egg salad sandwich are just imitation meat and/or bagged products with an unethical amount of mayo mixed in, but this quote is the kicker: "Worked at Subway 2010-12. Only thing I have to say is that tuna and seafood packages 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." —tigers-in-circles
3. Jack in the Box milkshakes
If you are allergic to fruit, be wary of the milkshakes: "We do not clean the mixer very well, and it's used for smoothies and milkshakes. Like, we're TOLD to just half ass it. In the training video." —RingoTheCraftySquidd
4. Hot dogs
From a former ballpark employee: "[The hot dogs] made it out of the package okay, and might even have been edible after we finished grilling them, and then they went into the water. Any hot dogs left at the end of the day went back into the fridge, and came out again the next day. Me and the other cook put our feet down on throwing out the water and old hot dogs after two full days, but the management didn't want to let us."
5. Anything from the Starbucks "secret" menu
Because it doesn't exist. If you know exactly how to order it, meaning "the base drink" and the "modifications," go nuts. But if you just say "Super-Mega Snickerdoodle Princess Machine Frap," they'll have no idea what you are talking about and they'll make it up.
6. McDonald's chicken nuggets, unless you order them fresh
"If you order, especially chicken nuggets, just ask for them fresh. Otherwise they've been just sitting in their container in the heat. They have a timer, but 9/10 times when that timer goes off, people just reset the timer instead of making new ones. This could go on until all the nuggets are sold." —Ritch88
7. Anything that comes out of McDonald's McCafé machine
If you want the full visual, check out the tale spun with great detail by Reddit user Envirometh. For the TL;DR version: "All McCafe beverages run through a horrifically dirty machine; we're talking 5+ inches of uncleaned, liquid bulls--t making up its inside parts, and the smoothies have glass cleaner in them."
8. Anything fried from Olive Garden
Former O.G. employee UppersArentNecessary breaks down the worst things to order at the "Italian" eatery, and the morale of the story is basically don't eat there. Ever. But if you need specifics, here is this: "I don't know how often the frying oil is changed, but judging by the color... ugh. I know it smells rancid." And then there is this: "I don't know which dishes this comes with, but the potato and pepper mixture, which is fried, will often have pieces of pepper in it that have started to rot. Not growing-mold rotten, but definitely soft-discolored rotten." Woof.
9. The quesorito at Chipotle
The quesorito is your basic Chipotle burrito that has a quesadilla wrapped around the filling instead of a boring, plain tortilla shell. Yes, it exists. And yes, you can order it. But only, and this is important, only if the Chipotle is not busy because this menu item takes an extra-long time to create. If you order at lunch/rush hours, then, according to Reddit user Thedudeiscj, "employees will hate you. The people behind you in line will hate you. Everyone will hate you."
10. Dunkin' Donuts' sandwiches
When going to D.D., just stick to what's in the name of the restaurant. "The donuts are fine. But don't order the sandwiches," warns employee mjforever33. "The tuna/chicken is scooped out of a little container. I don't even know what's in it. The eggs come 'pre-cooked' and look disgusting. Donuts = Good. Sandwiches = You're nuts, stoned, or hammered." Well said.
11. The steak and beans from Taco Bell
As devotees of the great T.B., we are saddened to report this tidbit from Reddit user Beefcake21: "The beans start out looking like cat food, and the directions are, 'Add water and stir until you can't see white anymore.' The steak was just the worst on dish duty. If it would sit too long it would become like hair gel. It was the worst."
12. Wendy's chili
Multiple Wendy's workers confirmed that the chili is made from old, dried up and sometimes expired meat that's been scraped off the grill top, boiled and stuck into the chili sauce. Also, "if the chili sitting in the warmer doesn't sell fast enough we just added hot water to it to mix it up."
13. Movie theater popcorn
But this applies only to people who are coming to the first showing of the day because, according to user 318daily, "at night we would make popcorn and bag it up which is what we would serve in the morning the following day."
14. Gas station slushies
"The amount of mold in those machines would crush your childhood to a pulp."—MarTank666
So. Who's hungry?!