The one drink you should think twice about ordering at McDonald’s, according to an employee

No matter where you are in the world, there’s nothing more reliable—nor more delicious!—than the cheap, fatty goodness of a burger and fries from McDonald’s. (And this is the secret ingredient that makes their fries tastes so good.) But when it comes to this famous fast-food chain, there’s one menu item you might want to think twice before ordering.

That one forbidden food? A McCafe coffee. And not because it’s unhealthy, nor because of its taste. Truth be told, it’s the machines making the coffee that you should be worried about, one McDonald’s employee revealed. That isn’t the only secret your fast food worker isn’t telling you.

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What your fast food worker won't tell you
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What your fast food worker won't tell you

After we cook something, we put it in a holding cabinet and set a timer.

When the timer goes off, we’re supposed to throw it out. But often, we just reheat the food. So for the freshest meal, come between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. or between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. More people are in the restaurant then, so we’re cooking and serving new food constantly. (These are the worst meals you could order at a restaurant, by the way.)

That plain chicken breast may have been a healthy choice out of the package...

But sometimes we have to slather it with butter just to make sure it doesn’t stick to the grill. On the other hand, these healthy fast foods can satisfy unhealthy cravings.

There’s usually a way to get expensive menu items for less

If you’re craving a Big Mac, for example, order a $1 McDouble with no mustard or ketchup and then add shredded lettuce and Mac sauce for a small charge. It’s basically a mini Big Mac, and you can get two for less than the cost of one Big Mac. Check out more trivia facts you probably didn't know about McDonald's.

Most fast-food joints clean everything with super-concentrated chemicals at the end of the day

That includes the grills and the drink machine nozzles. If you’re one of the first customers in the morning, you may be getting some of that chemical residue on the food or in the drink you order—or, worse. You won't believe what was found on the ice in some fast food restaurants. 

Those grill marks on your burger?

Not real. They were put there by the factory. If you want REAL grill marks, it's probably best to make your own at home with one of these burger recipes.

Most of us will cook something fresh for you if you ask

But if you want to make sure your french fries come right out of the fryer, order them without salt; that forces us to cook you a new batch. Then you can add your own salt, and they'll still taste the same. That's because of the secret ingredient that makes McDonald's fries so addictive.

Avoid asking for “extra” of something, like cheese or sauce

As soon as you say “extra,” we have to enter it at the register and charge you for it. Instead, just tell us you want us to “put a good amount on there” or “not to be skimpy with it,” and we’ll load you up.

Yes, our chili is made from what you think:

Meat from old burgers.

It makes me laugh when someone comes in and says she’s trying to be healthy—and then orders a salad with crispy chicken

At McDonald’s, some of those salads have about as many calories as a Big Mac. In fact, a small order of french fries contains four fewer grams of fat than a packet of our ranch dressing. Also, be wary of these "healthy" fast food choices that definitely aren't.

We’re timed on how fast we get customers through the drive-through...

...so we always prioritize those in line outside over anyone at the front counter. And after you leave the drive-through, use this trick to keep your fries crispy the whole way home.

One of my coworkers once got so mad that he spit in someone’s food

He was suspended for three days. Most of us would never do something like that.

Here’s a good way to know how clean a fast-food establishment really is:

When you get your drink, bend down and look up into the ice chute. If you see mold and other stuff growing in there—which is more common than you might expect—they’re not cleaning the machine as often as they’re supposed to.

Those gorgeous pictures of our food in our advertisements?

They’re airbrushed and touched up with fiberglass and paint. It probably takes two hours to make that picture. Obviously, we’re not going to be able to replicate that.

Please, please, get off your cell phone

I’ve had people pull up to the window, pay, and drive away without their food because they’re talking on the phone and not paying attention. Then they’re mad at me. Here are some more crazy stories from drive-through workers.

At most fast-food restaurants, it’s tough to give away free food

Especially things like burgers, because they’re inventoried. We can sometimes give away French fries, ice cream or drinks because we get those ourselves, but it depends on which manager is on duty.

We hate it when you order an ice cream

Most of the time, we’ve got to make it, and it’s already melting by the time we hand it to you. If you order four or five cones at a time, it’s almost impossible to get them to you before they melt everywhere, and then you want new ones.

Here’s something that surprised me when I started working at McDonald's:

Our clam grills are set at 750 degrees, and they can fully cook a regular beef hamburger in just 38 seconds, a quarter pounder in 70 seconds. The first time I ever saw that, I was like, 'Ewww.'

We’re happy to replace something if we mess up, but...

We can usually tell when you’re making up a story to get free food. There was one guy who found a pebble in our parking lot, put it in his food after he ate most of it, and then asked for a replacement. Another lady took 10 tacos home. The next day, she brought just a few of them back, showing us that their lettuce was brown. She wanted another 10 tacos. But of course, if you leave tacos out for 24 hours, the lettuce will turn. Love tacos? Here are some fun taco recipes to try.

Some fast-food workers definitely follow the 10-second rule

I have seen people drop food and then pick it back up and put it on the grill.

No, most of us do not donate our leftovers

I can’t believe how much food we throw out every day, especially at the end of the night. You, however, can do your part. Here's how you can cut back on food waste at home.

All fast-food restaurants are not created equal

Even restaurants within the same chain can vary widely depending on the owner and manager and what kind of standards they set.

When you take three handfuls of napkins or fill your purse with ketchup packets...

I don’t know what you call it, but I call it stealing. You’re just making things more expensive for everyone.

Please don’t ask what ingredients are in our fried chicken coating or in our special sauce

All of our recipes are proprietary, so they don’t even tell us what’s in them. But we can tell you why McDonald's Coke tastes better than anywhere else.

At some restaurants, managers get a bonus if they hold onto their employees and keep their turnover rate down

That gives us an incentive to keep people who aren’t very good, even if they don’t know the difference between a French fry and a screwdriver. And I’m not exaggerating; I’ve had employees who were that bad.

Most of us, even the managers, aren’t making much more than minimum wage

You wouldn’t believe the stuff we put up with for that kind of money. People constantly talk to me like I’m a two-year-old. I’ve had customers throw drinks at me and cuss at me. I’ve been held up at gunpoint.

At Taco Bell, most of our food does carry over, so we reheat it and serve it the next day

That’s why I never take my lunch break early. Plus, fast food can have some weird effects on your brain.

For the best deal at McDonald's, order off the dollar menu

You can get a lot of food for the same price as a meal and it will fill you up more.

We were supposed to wear gloves when we made food

But a lot of times my co-workers didn’t do it, and that really skeeved me out. Here are more dirty restaurant secrets the kitchen crew won't tell you.

Most of us don’t wash our hands as much as we should

Even though there are signs everywhere reminding us it's the law.

Look around to see how much trash is in the parking lot

And whether the bathrooms are dirty and if the dining room is picked up. When things that are so publicly visible are neglected, you can bet that even more is being neglected in the back and in the kitchen where no one can see them. That's just one of the things restaurant health inspectors wish you knew.

Once your order is in at the drive-through...

We have two minutes to get your food before the screen turns red, and the manager asks what’s going on.

We do laugh at you behind your back

Like when you mispronounce our menu items or when you think we can’t hear you through the drive-through speaker, yelling at your husband or kids.

When it was slow, sometimes we would all take the garbage out...

And smoke marijuana in the back. Really, it's true. Want more crazy food service stories? Here's everything your waiter isn't telling you.

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“I work for McDonald’s and make sure everyone that matters to me never orders anything that comes out of the McCafe machine, as these are routinely neglected in practically all the McDonalds,” the employee said on Reddit. “All McCafe beverages run through a horrifically dirty machine—we’re talking 5+ inches of uncleaned, liquid making up its inside parts.”

Sounds pretty gross, right? And not only does the staff lack the appropriate training to clean and maintain the McCafe machines, but the managers do too, the employee said.

That’s not the case for all McDonald’s locations, though. “We had to clean the McCafe [machines] nightly,” another employee said on Reddit. The staff uses a cleaning kit, which includes brushes and a food-safe, all-purpose cleaner, to scrub away the coffee grounds. All in all, the process takes around 30 to 45 minutes.

Related: This is the fanciest McDonald's ever 

12 PHOTOS
Inside the fanciest McDonald's location in America
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Inside the fanciest McDonald's location in America

Located in the small seaside town of Freeport, Maine, this McDonald's was first the historic Gore House. William Gore, a prominent Freeport merchant, built the mansion in 1850.

Public Domain

Source: The New York Times and The Freeport Historical Society

The building was converted into Freeport's only McDonald's in 1984.

NNECAPA Photo Library/Flickr

The town of Freeport has strict building design codes, and McDonald's wanted to build a location in a residential zone.

(Instagram)

Initially, Freeport's 6,200 residents were pretty evenly divided about the McDonald's construction.

Imgur user therealrawcookiedough

But McDonald's was eventually granted a permit to remodel the Gore House. Freeport allowed its construction, but only if the restaurant retained the town's aesthetic.

Imgur user therealrawcookiedough

''What we are doing there is something we probably have never done before in terms of design and the amount of time and effort involved," said Stephen Leroy, manager of McDonalds' media relations, in 1984. ''We are willing to spend the money to make it compatible with the area, the history, the community and the people who live there.''

Imgur user therealrawcookiedough

Source: The New York Times

Inside, it looks like a McDonald's but still retains that classic New England style.

Imgur user therealrawcookiedough

It serves typical menu favorites, like Big Macs and McFlurries ...

(Instagram)

... as well as a local favorite: lobster rolls for $8.99.

(Instagram)

The corporation built a drive-thru on the building's side, too.

​​​​​It's surrounded by L.L. Bean's headquarters, an outlet mall, and luxury stores like Polo Ralph Lauren and Burberry.

Imgur user therealrawcookiedough

It's not the only arch-less McDonald's in the US. Colonial-style locations have also been built in New Hyde Park, New York, and Independence, Ohio.

Sources: Curbed and Flickr

Chung Chu/Flickr

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Still, the next time you’re in the mood for a quick caffeine fix, you might want to opt for a beverage from a less suspicious source (like Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts) instead. Just make sure to avoid the one coffee you should never, ever order at Starbucks.

As for us? We’ll be sticking to a plain old Coca-Cola at Mickey D’s from now on, thank you very much. By the way, this is why Coke tastes better at McDonald’s than anywhere else.

[Source: Huffington Post]

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