20 Things McDonald’s Doesn’t Want You To Know

McDonald's Reports Poor Quarterly Earnings

McDonald’s is one of the most popular fast food restaurants in the entire world. When it comes to quick, easy, and cheap food McDonald’s is the go to spot for countless hungry consumers. Although eating at fast food chains is a great way to save time and money, there are constantly new studies and reports that show just how unhealthy eating at a place like McDonald’s can be. In fact, over the years there have been several rumors floating around that suggest that many of the food items served by the restaurant are not actually food at all. But while some of these rumors have been proven false, there are some stories that are shockingly true. Here are 20 things McDonald’s doesn’t want you to know.

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New Consumer Survey Ranks McDonald's Hamburgers, KFC Chicken Worst Tasting

McDonald’s burger buns contain harmful ingredients.

Sure, everyone thinks that McDonald’s food is full of all sorts of unhealthy chemicals, but it’s actually a fact. Ironically; however, the buns also contain some very questionable ingredients. Over the years, several sources have analyzed the ingredients used in the buns and have found things such as ammonium sulfate, bleached white flour, and guar gum – all of which can have negative side effects on the human body.

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First McCafe Opens In Northern California

McDonald’s coffee seriously injured a customer.

Most people like their coffee hot, but not so hot that it causes third degree burns. However, in 1994, a customer named Stella Liebeck found herself facing serious injuries when she accidentally spilled coffee on herself while leaving a drive-thru window. Liebeck sued the company for $20,000 to cover her medical expensive; however, McDonald’s only offered her $800. When the case went to trial, it was revealed that McDonald’s had forced its employees to leave the coffee sitting at nearly 200 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature that could cause third degree burns in just a matter of seconds. The jury decided in Lieback’s favor and recommended that she receive over $2 million in punitive damages, although the amount was later reduced.

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New York City Board Of Health Approves Bloomberg's Over Sized Sugary Drink Ban

There could be fecal matter in your soda.

In 2010, CNN ran a story which cited a study that showed that fecal matter had been found in fast food soda fountains. According to the authors of the study, “The large number of beverages and soda fountain machines containing E. coli is still of considerable concern… and suggests that more pathogenic strains of bacteria could persist and thrive in soda fountain machines if introduced.” Although McDonald’s was not specifically named, just the thought could be enough to turn some consumers away.

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Mario and Luigi Celebrate the Release of Mario Kart 8 At McDonald's

McDonald’s targets little kids.

Time and time again, McDonald’s has been criticized for its ad campaigns that are targeted towards children. However, despite the link to childhood obesity and fast-food, McDonald’s refuses to stop its attempts at trying to gain life long customers through its kid friendly ads.

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McDonald's Introduces New McNuggets

McDonald’s may be serving expired chicken.

Apparently, if the chemicals in the food don’t get you, the expired chicken will. In 2012, a McDonald’s in China was accused of selling chicken after it had already reached its expiration time. Although McDonald’s has a rule that chicken must be served 30 minutes after being cooked, a restaurant in Beijing was suspected of letting the chicken sit for up to an hour and a half.

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McDonalds Begins Selling Fitness Videos

Nothing at McDonald’s is healthy.

After receiving lots of criticism about its unhealthy meal options, McDonald’s attempted to introduce healthier options to the menu. However, despite a variety of salads, the fast food chain just can’t get it right. According to nutritional information a salad at McDonald’s can contain almost 500 calories.

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McDonalds Holds National Hiring Day To Add 50,000 Employees

The CEO of McDonald’s makes more in an hour than restaurant employees do in almost a year.

Of course, most companies have a big difference in wages between upper management and regular employees. However, this difference at McDonald’s is extremely shocking. According to the finance website, Nerd Wallet, it would take seven months for a McDonald’s employee to earn what the company’s CEO earns in one hour.

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McDonald's burgers

McDonald’s food doesn’t go bad.

If you spend a lot of time on the Internet, you’ve probably seen lots of pictures floating around of food from McDonald’s that is supposedly several years old, but looks like it was just sold to a customer. While some people have a hard time believing that anything ‘edible’ could last so long, scientist, Dr. Keith Warner, has found that McDonald’s food contains so little salt, and much fat, sugar, salt that it could last forever under normal conditions.

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McDonald's Reports Poor Quarterly Earnings

McDonald’s ran the original restaurant out of business.

McDonald’s original owners, Richard and Maurice McDonald found success with their first restaurant. However, they were against franchising. As a result, their investment partner, Ray Kroc bought the brothers out, and gained complete control over the McDonald’s name and brand. Other than money, all the brothers were left with was their first restaurant, which they renamed Big M. However, in a last attempt to kill the brothers’ dreams, Kroc opened up a McDonald’s right across the street and ran the brothers out of business completely.

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McDonald's November Sales Down Lower Than Expected

There have been some very disgusting discoveries in McDonald’s food.

Let’s be honest, no one has ever accused McDonald’s of being the cleanest place the world. But even with that being said, most people still expect them to be fairly sanitary. However, in McDonald’s restaurants all over the world, there have been more than a few instances of people finding strange things in their food. In 2005, a college student in Illinois, found a used band-aid in her french fries. In 2006, Todd Haley, an assistant coach with the Dallas Cowboys at the time, found a dead rat in a salad that he had purchased for his wife and baby sitter.

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Subway Surpasses McDonald's As Having Most Restaurants Worldwide

There are more Subway restaurants than there are McDonald’s

The golden arches at McDonald’s may be recognizable almost anywhere in the world, but it is Subway that’s actually leading the industry. In fact, Subway is the “largest restaurant operator in the world,” and has more locations than McDonald’s.

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Scenes Of The Cairns Region

McDonald’s may be destroying the rainforest. 

You may be wondering how McDonald’s and the rainforest could possibly be connected. Unfortunately; however, there could be a very real link between the two – and it’s not pretty. A few years ago, Greenpeace accused McDonald’s of “trashing the Amazon for cheap meat.

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McDonald's Workers, Activists Protest McDonald's Labor Practices

McDonald’s has been known for exploiting workers.

On paper, it may look like McDonald’s is doing something for the people it employs. After all, McDonald’s provides millions of job opportunities to people all over the world. However, this fast food giant may not be  a good place to work. Over the years, McDonald’s has been accused of treating its employees unfairly. In 2015, McDonald’s employees planned to strike after the company was dishonest about plans to increase wages.

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CA Passes State Law To Force Restaurants Chains To Display Calorie Info

McDonald’s eggs have some explaining to do.

Recently, when McDonald’s rolled out it’s new all day breakfast menu, fast food lovers were excited. However, they may not have been as excited if they had known that the eggs at McDonald’s were filled with all sorts of unhealthy chemicals, and are not fresh as the company’s advertisements suggest. Dave Disilvo, writer at Forbes Magazine, found that the eggs contain “phosphate (a preservative), citric acid and monosodium phosphate (added to preserve color) and nisin preparation (a preservative).”

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Obesity And Fast Food In America

Eating at McDonald’s can lead to erectile dysfunction. 

Apparently, some of the chemicals in McDonald’s food can lead to erectile dysfunction when consumed on a regular basis. Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock experienced this first hand when he ate at McDonald’s for every meal over a 30 day period while making his documentary, Super Size Me.

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First McDonalds Franchise Recalls Fast-Food Giants Beginnings

The milkshakes are full of mystery…and it isn’t the good kind.

Who doesn’t love a good milkshake? Well, if you do, you might want to consider getting them from somewhere other than McDonald’s. Over the years, the restaurant’s milkshakes have often been brought into question, and many people feel like there are some very strange secret ingredients hiding in the tasty little shakes. Well, in 2007, employees at a McDonald’s in Orlando, FL were caught on camera pouring ‘milk’ from buckets labeled “soiled towels only” into the milkshake machine.

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cow standing in field

McDonald’s kills more than 5 million cows every year.

Even if you’re a meat eater, you’ve got to admit that it’s pretty troubling to know that McDonald’s kills millions of cows every year – especially when there are plenty of accusations that they aren’t even serving real meat. According to a report, McDonald’s kills 5.5 million cows each year – just to provide beef to its American restaurants.

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McCafe At T-Mobile Google Music Village At The Lift - Day 1 - 2012 Park City

McDonald’s oatmeal should be avoided at all costs. 

For most people, having oatmeal for breakfast is a smart and healthy choice. However, ordering oatmeal from McDonald’s is just the opposite.  McDonald’s oatmeal is full of calories, and is actually one of the most unhealthy things on the menu.

(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for McCafe)

McDonalds Holds National Hiring Day To Add 50,000 Employees

McDonald’s doesn’t require its employees to wear hairnets.

There are very few things more annoying — or gross — than finding hair in your food. Well at McDonald’s that’s something you might run into quite often since the company does not require its employees to wear hairnets. Although the website states that workers will wear hairnets if they are a requirement in the region, all McDonald’s requests is that hair be pulled back.

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McDonald's Brings Back The McRib Sandwich

McDonald’s has several “secret” menu items.

It’s always good to end on a high note, and if there is anyone who’s still willing to eat at McDonald’s after reading this list, this one’s for you. Apparently, McDonald’s has several “secret” menu items that aren’t listed on the regular menu but can be ordered upon request. If you’re looking for a way to make your next trip to McDonald’s a bit more interesting, ordering one of these meals should do the trick.

 (Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

Written by Camille Moore

Camille has a master's degree from Saint Joseph University's Writing Studies program, and she currently works as the Writing Center Assistant Director at a small university in western Pennsylvania. Camille's writing has been published on several websites, and she enjoys writing articles and short stories in her spare time. You can follow Camille on Twitter @CamealAshley.

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