General Question

seekingwolf's avatar

How often do fast food employees sabotage meals?

Asked by seekingwolf (10407points) July 15th, 2009 from iPhone

There are all these horror stories out there… The dominos incident, mcdonalds guys spitting on hamburgers, etc.

It’s totally gross and it wigs me out. It not like I’m a germaphobe; people’s bodily substances could really make someone sick!

Does sabotage really happen that often or does the media just blow it out of proportion? I guess this question is really for people who have worked in fast food, since they would know.

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32 Answers

ubersiren's avatar

Most likely, they’re too busy to do it, I would think. Also, there’s bound to be a supervisor or someone around to deter the behavior. On the occasion that it does happen, I just hope those people know that the karma police are out to get them.

SirBailey's avatar

I like to think it can’t happen during the day shifts when so many people are around.

And, I hate to tell you this, but it’s not unique to fast food employees.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

This applies to any restaurant not just fast food.

Lupin's avatar

I worked at a fast food place for years and never, ever saw anything like that. I figure it is like the old Tylenol scare. It might have happened a couple of times but then everyone blows it out of proportion.
Relax and enjoy your Gut Buster Burger w/cheese in complete confidence.

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seekingwolf's avatar

I just figured that it’s more like to happen at fast food places, because there are lots of young, immature, disgruntled employees. The other places I go to are quite formal and fancy an everyone there is quite nice. But yes I bet it could happen anywhere…

seekingwolf's avatar


do you have any reason for believing this?

casheroo's avatar

I only know of one person who messed with somone’s food, and they did work at a fast food place. I was actually close friends with the girl, and she did it to a girl that most people disliked (I don’t know why I can’t remember who it was!) But, I know its super rare to happen.
I don’t see why anyone would mess with random people’s food. Or even someone they know. Making someone sick does not seem pleasurable to me.
I’ve worked in many restaurants, I’ve heard people talk about it…heck even I’ve wanted to spit in someones food, but I would never actually do it, and never saw anyone do such a thing.

seekingwolf's avatar

I guess it helps to be UBER nice when you’re at a fat food restaurant. I always speak slowly and say please and thanks, especially at those “ghetto” mcdonalds. :) better safe than sorry.

jamielynn2328's avatar

I worked at McDonalds for two years when I was a teenager. People dropped the burger patties on the floor all the time and then served them. That is the only sabotage I saw, but it was pretty bad.

My husband is a chef and he worked at a very popular bar and grill in our area. Their food was so good, and it was at a serious health cost. They would put so much butter in their food it was ridiculous. One cook literally used a stick of butter per plate. And they cooked everything in bacon fat. I don’t know if this would be considered sabotage, but it is definitely disgusting. I’m very cautious about eating out. I prefer a simple sandwich from a simple diner.

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BBSDTfamily's avatar

When I was in highschool I worked at Subway, and only once did I see anything gross happen. A customer was being extremely rude and impatient and so my co-worker scooped up a big heaping of scraps out of the tray that everything is scraped into that falls off the sandwich and spread it across her sandwich. I don’t know how the customer didn’t notice! But even with this, those trays are cleaned multiple times a day and all that’s in there is leftover lettuce, mustard, pickles etc. that falls off of sandwiches.

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ShanEnri's avatar

Yes it does happen! My first job ever was at McDonalds and the main cook used to pick his nose and wipe it on the patties. I politely told the manager and he got fired, but it was gross and when he did it I tried to sabotage his sabotage, by grabbing the burger and remaking it with a clean patty!

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

I worked at mcdonalds for 2 yrs and NEVER did I witness anyone doing anything gross as far as spitting or putting hair in the food. I did however witness workers (even managers) re-tagging the salads, pies, & parfaits. They didn’t feel like throwing out the food and making new ones when they expired so they simply re-tagged them for a later date. Not terribly gross but I still don’t approve.

Lupin's avatar

@ShanEnri Thanks for acting responsibly. You did the right thing.
Note that the cook got fired. They did not accept excuses. That’s the way it should be.

Tink's avatar

So they like spit in your food? Good thing I don’t eat at those kind of places. But one thing I have noticed about fast food places is that some employees are a-holes sometimes, they look all mad when they are taking your order, and because they are mad they mess it up and get even more angry because they have to do it again.

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YARNLADY's avatar

I wonder about where the other users here have been eating? In my neighborhood the workers are so happy to have jobs, they smile a lot, they are very polite, and I would never worry about the food, except the unhealthy part

TitsMcGhee's avatar

I work at a pizzeria which is not quite fast food, but it isn’t table service either. In the three years that I’ve been there, I’ve never seen anyone sabotage food like that. I’m sure some people out there have done it, but I think it isn’t as common as people think it is.

We would much rather talk a bunch of shit about people who are rude or belligerent than fuck with their food. Delivery drivers have thrown pizzas on people’s doorsteps who are unnecessarily mean or who don’t pay, but that’s in front of them.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@sap82 What is the deal with you being constantly moderated? I haven’t read any of your posts before they were moderated but if you have real insight to a fast food restaurant I would like to hear it…. but not if you’re just being ugly.

AstroChuck's avatar

I’ve always thought that food workers sabotaging food wasn’t as common as the stories you hear from people and the media. Although I’m certain it happens I think much of what we hear is urban legend. Long ago, in what seems like another life, I worked at a McDonalds. The worst thing I’d ever seen happen was every now and then when a frozen patty got dropped on the floor it might get placed on the grill. Policy was to treat anything dropped on the floor as waste. Nothing too exciting as these patties were still frozen and any contaminate that might have been picked up off the floor would have likely been killed on the grill anyway.

seekingwolf's avatar


That’s awesome what you did. :) Kudos Kudos!

Ansible1's avatar

I’ve worked in restaurants for years, I personally have never done anything deliberately to mess with someones food and as far as seeing other ppl do it is an extremely rare occasion. (and I too have tried to go out of my way to remake an order when something fishy has gone on, i have tried to live by: “would you serve this to your mother?”)

ratboy's avatar

Given what you’re getting in fast food, a dab of bodily fluid is the least of your worries.

AstroChuck's avatar

@ratboy- That’s true. Whatever someone puts in your food is probably better for you than the food itself.

MacBean's avatar

I’ve heard more stories about people messing with customers’ food at actual restaurants, where it’s more common to send something back to be fixed.

pdl1671's avatar

Ok so i used to be a line Cook at Denny’s. Some of the people there are very very rude. This is not the issue at had.The only time I ever found myself crossing the line was when a patron said my girlfriend had a nice fat ass and he tried to grab it. That was just to much to take. I hope he enjoyed his floor sausages (i cleaned the tile grout with them) and his steak rested on the floor for a few minutes. I also made suret o give my taint a nice cleaning with my bare hands and fondled his food. Im sorry but no one treats my (know shes my wife) like that.

pdl1671's avatar

its not about the tips as much as people being controlling, immature people. I went from a line cook to an IT Business Exec in months. I know what it is like. People need to realize that these places are for eating and not acting like a jaded ass#%%. The dont realize that these jobs are stepping stone for further success. When I see some one being a dick at a restaurant now i give them a piece of my mind.
Trust me, if you go into a restaurant acting out YOU WILL e eating something that should be on fear factor….trust me…been there done that.

faceman's avatar

50 % of the time

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