What Happens To Your Food When You’re Not Looking

Let's reveal what happens to your food when you're not looking!

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Sometimes the food we find on our plates is definitely not fit for consumption. From restaurant and grocery store infestations, to truly appalling fast-food hijinks, let’s take a look at some of the grossest things that happen to your food when you’re not looking!

McMaggots

McDonald’s, everyone’s favorite. And for good reason too! They have all the classics: Big Macs, McNuggets, McMaggots.

McMaggots? Well, unfortunately this was the case for one unlucky customer! In 2019 this Aussie’s day was promptly ruined as he tucked into his scrumptious burger, only to find an infestation of maggots writhing inside his meal!

maggots in mcdonald's burger

I’m sure you can imagine how disgusted the guy was. He really wasn’t happy but it’s understandable, with those little maggots wriggling in and out of the meat. And even worse, he’d already eaten some of it!

Poor fella, except, he’s not the only one. An Australian mom found herself cringing at these critters after buying her young son a Happy Meal.

maggots in happy meal

After posting the incident online and vowing to never touch fast food again, the mom’s accusations were undermined by the fast-food giant themselves, as McDonald’s claimed: “It is very unlikely this occurred in our restaurant; we have great confidence in our food safety and handling procedures”. Which roughly translates to “Who? Me?! Nope, couldn’t possibly have been my fault.”

So, while it seems the golden arches vehemently deny that McMaggots are actually being served, the evidence seems to suggest otherwise. Only one thing remains certain: not all Happy Meals have happy endings.

Bird Food

In 2015, shoppers at the Walmart in Chicopee, Massachusetts were astonished to find a peckish group of sparrows pecking away at the grocery store meat!

sparrows stealing meat

In their defense, minced beef kind of looks a little like worms, so they were probably just confused! Still, Rhonda Kitchen, the woman who captured the disgusting scene, stated that she’ll never buy food from there ever again!’. And seeing those little beaks pecking away raw meat, who can blame her!

Walmart officials responded to the situation, saying: "The impacted product was immediately removed from shelves and disposed of. Professionals were also brought in to remove the birds. In all, 17 birds were trapped and released."

bird catching walmart

So, with their meat heist brought to a halt, Walmart may have won this time but it’s only a matter of time before the birds attack again.

Deep-Fried Rat

Coming to theatres this fall ‘Ratatouille 2: The Great Grease Trap’. Set in a Texas Whataburger, this heart-warming tragedy tells the tale a little rat who made his way into a restaurant in 2019 and met his fate in the deep fryer.

rat in fryer

While Pixar might not be picking this script up anytime time soon, the story is still a mixture of hilarious, and a little sad. And it’s 100% true and there is footage to prove it!

rat at Whataburger

As he quickly became the center of attention, this little guy seemed to get stage-fright and tried to scurry out of sight but the lady in the pink had other ideas! As they tussled, the rat decidedly took a leap of faith right into the fryer. Southern fried rat, anyone? Understandably, the customers were a little disgruntled.

rat in deep fryer

After sacrificing the rat to the fast-food gods, pandemonium broke loose, with equal parts of disgust and amusement, all the while some poor rat was getting crispier by the second! It probably comes as no surprise that this rodent restaurant was closed, cleansed, and cleared of any infestations.

Is This Vegan?

Back in 2018, a group of hungry diners made reservations at Carlini, a restaurant in England where chef Laura Goodman cooks the meals. They ate their food and left, but the following evening, Laura posted the following sentence to Facebook: “Pious, judgmental vegan – who I spent all day cooking for – has gone to bed, still believing she’s a vegan.”

Which, reading between the lines, would lead most people to assume that Laura adulterated their food with animal produce. From an ethical standpoint, this is clearly out of line, but even worse, the vegan customer might well have even had special dietary requirements or allergies governing their veganism.

chef Laura Goodman vegan scandal

Although this chef initially bragged that she’d “spiked a vegan a few hours ago”, she soon retracted these statements, instead claiming: “I am really deeply sorry. There were no meat products added to the dishes.”

Of course, her attempt to backpedal in the face of being exposed wasn’t quite sufficient, and ultimately, she resigned. So, fear not vegans! She won’t be striking again.

Chinese ‘street’ food

Street food is tasty, inexpensive and provides flavorsome offerings from all different countries and cultures! However, it seems some people have maybe interpreted the phrase ‘street food’ too literally.

A San Francisco Chinese restaurant, Lucky River, faced scrutiny back in 2014 after being caught beating their meat on the sidewalk! When confronted about why one of its staff members was slamming totally uncovered meat onto the sidewalk, management explained they were simply trying to tenderize it!

lucky river restaurant

With reports claiming that the street they were pounding onto was filled with cigarette butts, gum and general grime, and with other rumored health code violations under their belt, it’s no surprise that Lucky River were soon under the microscope.

They were issued an order to rectify the problems and retrain staff or face closure and while I’d like to tell you an inspiring story about the underdog who proved them all wrong, I won’t be. From my research, they appear to be permanently closed, which, really, is probably for the best.

Employee of the Month

This next food hygiene horror story comes from Redditor, ‘Not_a_Terminator’, who explains his shocking experience as an assistant cook at an unspecified restaurant. Two weeks into the job, he went to grab a can of tomato sauce out of the cupboard only to be greeted by a huge tarantula.

tarantula in restaurant

Now, if that was me, I’d have run a mile, but Not_a_Terminator decided to make his boss aware of this eight-legged lodger. After expressing his concern, the boss replied, “I see you’ve met Eduardo”. Apparently, his boss kept the spider there as a means to warn off pests and rodents!

And while I’m sure Eduardo was a hard worker, I’d definitely rather the restaurant I’m eating at not keep tarantulas in their cupboards. And if there’s truth to the Redditor’s tale, I’m pretty sure the department of health would agree.

Horsemeat Scandal

If you cast your mind back to 2013, you might recall the notorious scandal about grocery store meat being adulterated with horse meat! In parts of Europe, meat advertised as beef was found after investigations to contain as much as 100% of undeclared horse meat!

On top of that, it was also confirmed that a smaller number of beef products actually contained pork, which from an ethical standpoint meant that several religious groups were likely to have been misled from their dietary requirements.

pork in beef

Causing international outrage, the scandal affected almost everyone, from grocery stores to consumers and from the meat industry to the wider economy. But where did the horsemeat actually come from?

Turns out investigators found Willy Selten, a Dutch meat wholesaler, guilty on account of forging invoices and labels, resulting in him selling 300 tons of horsemeat labeled at ‘beef’. Selten insisted that the horsemeat he supplied was only intended for pet food, but somehow ended up being used for burgers.

Willy Selten horsemeat scandal

While the neigh-sayers aren’t so quick to believe this alibi, it still remains unclear who is exactly to blame. Going forward European governments have promised stricter procedures, requiring retailers and producers to publish meaningful tests on their meat.

That said, Willy was only sentenced to 2 and half years in 2015, meaning at the time of writing this article he’s probably back out there, meddling with meat. Check your burgers, folks!

Taco Taster

Taco Bell is pretty tasty, and if I worked there, I’d find it hard to not eat the food myself! Turns out that one of their employees also felt the same. In a picture posted to Facebook in 2013, the employee can be seen licking a stack of those delicious taco shells.

employee licking taco shell

After the photo went viral, Taco Bell HQ unsurprisingly didn’t see the funny side to the pic, as they promptly suspended and subsequently fired the employee responsible.

However, you might be pleased to know that these shells were not given to customers. In fact, they were headed for the garbage anyway. But when it comes down to it, Taco Bell have a brand to uphold, and licking tacos doesn’t fit the brief! But this isn’t the only gross thing to happen behind the counter of Taco Bell; another former employee sealed his own fate in 2012 when he posted a picture on social media of him urinating on to a tray of nachos!

In the end, this taco tinkler was dismissed from the restaurant but there still remains so many questions! For instance, that stream of pee looks a little off-center to be actually coming from his trouser-snake, suggesting it may be juice coming from a bottle, which would be a somewhat pleasant relief.

peeing on nachos

But whether it was a harmless prank or not, one thing’s for sure, when employees are up to mischief, the Taco Bell shall soon toll for them!

Secret Shoppers

Is there anything better than the enticing aroma of freshly baked goods? Croissants, Pain au Chocolat, cookies, who could resist?! Well, after you see them being nibbled on by rodents, they’re slightly less seductive!

In 2021 at a Sainsbury’s supermarket in Essex Road, London, these rats seemed to be enjoying their continental breakfast, to the horror of onlookers. The captured video quickly caught the interest of the British public, and Sainsbury’s immediately took action, closing the store for a visit from the cleaners and pest control.

Sainsbury’s rats

Sainsbury’s assured its customers that ‘safety and hygiene is the most important thing to them’, though with a footage in existence, I think it’ll take a while to regain the public’s trust. Ironically, the store recently rebranded their slogan to ‘helping everyone eat better’, which apparently includes rats too!

But jokes aside, keeping the rodents at bay can be an impossible task. Some sources claim that, in built-up areas, you’re never more than 20 feet away from a rat, and with even the most defensive measures in place, where there’s food, rodents are to be expected to some degree.

In fact, US food law factors rodents into their sales safety legislation, with 11 rodent hairs allowed per 25 grams of paprika; 4.5 hairs per 225 grams of noodles; and 4 hairs per 25 grams of curry powder, among others!

allowed rodent hair in food

So, while we could give Sainsbury’s the benefit of the doubt for their rat problem, we should still think twice about buying unpackaged baked goods!

That’s Not What I Ordered

As horrifying as it is to find gross stuff in your food, in 2008, New Yorker John Agnesini found something totally unexpected inside his Subway sandwich! John was horrified when he tucked into his sandwich, only to find a 7inch knife baked into it!

knife in subway sandwich

Luckily, John managed to spot the unsolicited sandwich filling before it did a number on his mouth. But while John wasn’t wounded by the knife, its filthy plastic handle had partially melted into the sandwich, causing John to become violently ill for 3 hours!

It’s unclear whether this was a genuine mistake or a terrible practical joke, but either way, it seems John got the last laugh, as he was awarded a hefty $1 million in compensation. Which sounds totally worth the 3 hours of vomiting!

Teriyaki Intruder

By this point in the article, you probably realize that rats love food. So much so that sometimes they become the food! In 2019, when Deyanira Cortes bought her daughter a portion of Teriyaki Chicken from the Ohio restaurant, Yihi Japan, she was horrified to realize that some of the chicken was actually a baby rat!

Deeyanira’s daughter’s friend, who spotted the teriyaki intruder, immediately went to the bathroom to vomit and lost her appetite for days!

rat in teriyaki chicken

The cooked rat rests in pieces in the meal are enough to put anybody off Teriyaki Chicken for life. After taking to social media to warn people about the Japanese restaurant, health officials inspected and subsequently closed the Ohio restaurant.

Ironically, they failed to find any further evidence of rodents in the building, though they did spot flies, cockroaches and sewage backing up through the floor drains! I’m not sure which is worse; the cooked rat or the presence of poop in the kitchen where they were cooking the rats?

Yihi Japan kitchen inspection

Filthy Chinese Restaurant

If that last story didn’t convince you that restaurants don’t always have the cleanest kitchens, then this next one definitely will.

In 2015, deep-cleaner William Panzino uploaded a video tour of a grimy restaurant in Littleton, New Hampshire, called Asian Garden. Having cleaned this kitchen just 3 months prior to this video, Panzino was certainly unimpressed, to say the least.

unclean kitchen

The whole kitchen is coated with grime, and dripping grease due to a lack of regular, basic cleaning, alongside intense cooking with oil. As you may know, oil isn’t water soluble, so when it evaporates it creates a thin layer of grease wherever it comes into contact.

This sticky residue then invites dust, dirt and bacteria to stick to it, which left uncleaned can result in some extremely vile states. Repulsed by the state of the kitchen, William posted the video online, which has since accumulated over 3 million views!

Watch on YouTube

And as expected, many were quick to express their disgust at the restaurant’s hygiene standards. One user even wrote: “I’m on a diet right now. I am going to watch this video every time I have the urge to eat unhealthy. So far, it’s worked a charm.”

The Centipede and the Scorpion

For most, it’s a pretty standard procedure to wash fruit and veg before eating it, what with it being grown outdoors, who knows how many germs could be lurking? Or scorpions and centipedes, for that matter!

One person, in 2019, came across these aforementioned creepy crawlies in their Langsat fruit and shared the cringe-worthy footage of them scuttling about.

Langsat fruit centipede

The video was posted anonymously, so there’s little information available. But Langsat fruit and scorpions are pretty common in the Philippines, so if you’re in the area, I’d wash my fruit very thoroughly if I were you.

Cheddar Chomper

Who doesn’t love a little try-before-you-buy? The rat below, minding his own business, trying a little bit of the cheese before he takes it to the checkout to pay for it, certainly seems to!

Food4less rat eating cheese

Christopher Allison, who filmed this clip, is probably more of a "buy now, try later" kinda guy, as he decided to ‘rat’ this little shopper out when he saw him chomping some cheese in an Illinois Food4less store in 2019.

While Christopher maintained a light-hearted attitude about the situation, Food4less weren’t so lax, and made it known that they’d dealt with the issue at hand by destroying the affected goods, sanitizing the display, and of course having this unwelcome shopper escorted out of the building. They didn’t even give him a chance to pay!

rat eating cheese

KFC’s Secret Ingredient?

KFC, famed for its uniquely delicious taste. Legend has it that the secret KFC formula is made up of 11 top secret herbs and spices but maybe their unique flavor is attributed to something entirely different.

In 2013, one KFC employee was pictured licking some of their delicious mashed potatoes, which leads us to think: is this what gives their food that special zing?! Probably not, but with this picture in mind, who knows what other revolting shenanigans go on behind the counter!

licking mashed potato

That said, KFC did clarify that "Nothing is more important to KFC than food safety. The employee involved was immediately terminated." Perhaps licking the food isn’t the special ingredient. Or, maybe it is, and anyone who reveals that fact gets terminated. I’d better watch my back, in case the colonel cometh!

KFC colonel

Burger King Creepers

Back in 2018, a Burger King franchise came under fire for having a rat-infested kitchen and it was bad. Upon inspection, live rats were found, and they’d laid a few Big Whoppers of their own in the burger buns, dry storage, and ice even the machine.

Shantel Johnson, an employee of the store, came face to face with the ‘new employees’ and decided to capture this short clip of the moment.

rats in burger king

And I can’t help but wonder just how long these guys were here or even worse, how many more burger buns they snuggled themselves into. The video went viral and the fast-food chain made sure to react quickly!

After Shantel had encouraged people to not eat at the restaurant, the premises closed for 3 days to ensure everything was spick and span, ready to welcome back hungry customers and, hopefully, not hungry rats!

Uber Eats For All

One of the greatest triumphs of mankind is undoubtedly the rise of food delivery services, such as Uber Eats. It’s never been so easy to have your favorite meals delivered to your doorstep or rather, some of your favorite meals.

However, you shouldn’t be too trusting of the person delivering your food. In 2021, TikTok creator @sarahfromflorida, shared a video showing an Uber Eats employee tucking into a customer’s food and piling it up in his own little doggy bag, before packaging the rest back up for delivery!

uber rider stealing food

Shockingly, the employee loads his own Tupperware box, seals all the packaging back up, hops on his bike and gets on with delivering the food to the customer, who was probably waiting excitedly, unaware of who’d tucked into their food first!

This sly guy didn’t go unpunished though. In fact, it was later reported that he was fired, which considering those sticky fingers of his, shouldn’t come as any surprise! More concerning though, is how many other delivery employees are out there, doing this, flying under the radar, yet to be caught? Could you be getting a half-sized portion?

Hairy Mouthful

This next story is one that just keeps getting worse as it goes along and is not for the faint of heart. You’ve been warned.

It comes from Redditor ‘WommblesMama’ and begins with her uncle, a health inspector in Australia. He received reports of a fish and chip shop that was apparently very dirty and serving food with chunks of hair in it.

He went and inspected the restaurant unannounced, only to be greeted by the owner: a very hairy and sweaty man wearing a t-shirt, shorts and no shoes. Her uncle concluded that the source of hair must have been coming from the cook and advised him to wear proper garments.

What Happens To Your Food When You’re Not Looking

He also suggested changing the oil in the fryer, as it was filthy and likely contaminated with all his hair. So, the cook got to draining the oil right away while Wombbles’ uncle was still present, only to find something he’d misplaced a while back: his cat!

That’s right, his ‘dead, deep fried and crispy cat’, as WommblesMama so elegantly described it. And the cook’s reaction? “Oh, that’s where my cat went!”.

dead cat in fryer

The Redditor concluded by clarifying that the hair people had been finding in their food wasn’t the man's, but in her own words, ‘the fur and flesh of a dead cat’. Just be grateful you’re not one of the poor people who had complained about those mysterious clumps of hair in their food. Truly the stuff of nightmares.

McButt’s

It’s out with ‘I’m Lovin’ it’ and in with ‘I’m Scratchin’ it’! In 2016, this McDonald’s employee was caught butt-handed while preparing a customer’s order, and the customer made sure to capture the moment!

TikToker, @Rellikiss, has since removed the clip, however, in the original post, titled ‘McNasty’, you can clearly see this employee having a good ol’rummage around down there.

mcdonald's employee butt scratching

The guy interrupts her while she’s ‘in-the-zone’ and she’s clearly not happy. As soon as her hand resurfaces from her rear-end, she grabs some fries and hands them to the guy with the same hand! Yuck! Looks like this employee could’ve used an extra tool for the job.

What did McDonald’s have to say about all this? They stated: “These videos clearly do not reflect expectations McDonald’s and our franchisees have of crew members, and we deeply regret the concern they have caused.”

So, clearly having a rummage around in your undercarriage isn’t part of their training program, so that’s a relief, at least. They say: ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ and, after seeing where that hand has been, I certainly won’t!

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