We have all gone out to eat at one point in our life, whether it was crappy fast food or a high-end restaurant. A lot of us rely on fast food due to our busy schedules. No matter how much planning you do, sometimes you just don’t have time to cook a healthy meal at home. But have you ever really thought about what goes into your food or how clean the restaurant is compared to the industry standard? There aren’t very many fast food restaurants that offer good for you food at a good price. Typically we are paying for the convenience, not necessarily the flavor, but does that mean they should skimp on other things around the restaurant like storing food properly or making sure the soda machines are sanitized? Here are 25 gross fast food secrets that will have your stomach turning and have you rethinking your eating habits.
1 – The grill marks on your hamburgers typically aren’t from the grill. They were done at the factory where the burgers are made.
2 – If you want your french fries to be super fresh, ask for them without salt. They always salt the fries right when they take them out of the fryer, and they sit under the heat lamp until they’re gone.
3 – Ever wonder where the meat in the chili comes from? It comes from the leftover burgers that are a little too old to serve by themselves.
4 – Salads at fast food restaurants have almost as many calories as one Big Mac. A Big Mac has 530 calories while the Premium Southwest Salad with Crispy Chicken has 470 calories.
5 – Have you ever looked up into the soda dispensers at a fast food restaurant? Look inside and if there is any sort of dark mold, I’d recommend not drinking it. Sometimes getting a bottle of water is the safest and cleanest drink option. They’re supposed to clean the dispensers daily, but how often does that really happen?
6 – Speaking of gross facts, did you know that almost 50% of restaurant drink dispensers contain fecal bacteria?
7 – The pictures on the advertisements for food have been touched up. They’re usually fake sculptures of the food, that can be touched up with paint and fiberglass. Sometimes it can take up to two hours to make the food look just right for a photo shoot.
8 – It’s not uncommon for there to be a 10-second rule in the kitchens of restaurants. Yes, some people think a 5-second rule is okay, but 10 seconds? That’s too long! Also any amount of time spent on the floor in a fast food kitchen is too long and it should just be thrown away.
9 – Fast food restaurants create an enormous amount of garbage each and every day. Restaurants alone can produce up to 150,000 lbs of garbage every year. That’s not including what leaves their restaurant then gets thrown away.
10 – If food doesn’t sell well the day before, restaurants will often save it for the next day. While this may be okay at home, I don’t know how I feel about this being done in restaurants.
11 – The quality of the restaurant comes down to the quality of the management and the employees. One fast food restaurant down the road can be spotless, while one a mile away under the same name can be terrible.
12 – They’re supposed to wear gloves while preparing your food. This rarely happens!
13 – If you see a lot of garbage in more visible places like the garbage area, kitchen, bathroom, etc. imagine how much garbage is stuffed in the places you can’t see.
14 – In 1970, consumers spent about $6 billion on fast food. Now it’s about $200 billion per year! It’s time to start cooking at home, people!
15 – The cost of soda compared to the cost to produce it is marked up about 1200%. When working at a restaurant, they said that each ounce of soda costs about $0.01, so why are we paying $2-3 for a 32oz soda? That is quite the profit! It’s even more for the places that don’t offer free refills.
16 – Restaurant milkshakes contain up to 50 different types of chemicals. Have you ever looked at the ingredients in a Wendy’s Frosty? It contains about 15 ingredients, some of them being unpronounceable.
17 – If you don’t know about high fructose corn syrup and it’s nasty side effects, it’s time to read up. Most fast food restaurants use HFCS to sweeten their foods because it’s cheap. It also tricks your body into thinking you need even more of it!
18 – If you order coffee soon before a restaurant closes, it’s hard to say if you’re getting decaf or regular. Often times the restaurant has already cleaned up most of the coffee makers and left only one pot for that just in case customer. And lucky you, you get a mystery cup of coffee.
19 – Lemons and limes are one of the dirtiest foods in a restaurant. The reason is because they are typically cut up without being washed, they’re left out in the open, and many people touch them while grabbing one for a drink.
20 – Cashiers are often not allowed to tell you the calorie content of a menu item, even if they know. They’ll refer you to their website.
21 – Scrambled eggs in fast food restaurants, aren’t the typical eggs that come to mind when you think of eggs. it’s a mix from a powder, just add water. YUM!
22 – Salads are often made in bulk then left in the fridge until they are all sold. Sometimes they’ll pick out the ‘gross’ looking vegetables to make them look a little more appetizing.
23 – Hamburger meat in a restaurant can be made up of over 100 different cows, and this is not uncommon. They’ll take the cheapest meat that can be found to keep the costs low.
24 – Fast food restaurants aren’t a fan of unions, and can often be found supporting anti-union organizations.
25 – Kid’s meals are loaded with sugar! What better way to make the kids want to come back? Foods such as their applesauce and pizza crust can contain an unusual amount of sugar. Makes sense why a lot of our kids suffer from childhood obesity these days.
After seeing those gross facts, are you going to be going out to eat anymore or maybe you’re considering cutting back on how many meals you eat away from home? Either way, eating at home is probably cleaner, and typically you can make meals at home that taste the same, if not better, than what you’re buying at a fast food restaurant. Sometimes you do have to eat a quick meal, but try picking somewhere where you can see just how clean it is, somewhere you trust. A great way to avoid having to eat out at a fast food restaurant is meal planning. Plan your meals ahead and schedule them according to your schedule for that day. Obviously cooking a huge meal on a day where you’ll be home all but 30 minutes won’t work, but plan ahead and focus on what you’re eating to help avoid making the trip to the closest fast food restaurant.