Everyone has heard at least one foodie horror story from a fast food restaurant. From McDonald’s infamous pink slime to tales of employee spit in the soda, people are more suspicious of fast food chains than they are of any other restaurant. This, as it happens, is with good reason.
Over the years, a number of alarming discoveries have been made in what at first glance appeared to be innocent food orders. Some are funny, some are disgusting and all have absolutely no reason to be anywhere near your meal. These are seven of the weirdest things ever found in a fast food order.
1. A condom
Though there’s a time and a place for putting a condom in your mouth, dinner at your local McDonald’s isn’t one of them. In 1999 in Easton, Pennsylvania, William Smith discovered to his surprise that his Big Mac had been spiked with some errant prophylactic. Smith was given two free coupons as compensation for the experience.
2. A chicken head
Anyone in the UK will be all too familiar with McDonald’s proud claims that their nuggets contain only “100% real chicken breast”. Try telling that to Katherine Ortega. In 2000, the Virginia resident was in the middle of enjoying a Happy Meal with her son, when she suddenly discovered a whole, deep fried chicken head hidden within the nuggets.
3. A knife
Knives are an indispensable part of the eating process. However, they tend to be best used as a tool to assist, rather than as the main meal itself. Subway, clearly, failed to get this memo. In 2008, New Yorker John Agnesini found that a 6-inch serrated blade had been baked into the bread of his sandwich. Fortunate enough to have bitten into the plastic handle rather than the sharp edge, Agnesini was awarded $20,000 by the restaurant.
4. A finger
Working with industrial machinery is dangerous work. This became painfully clear to a mother and son after dining at Arby’s in 2012, when the pair discovered a bloody chunk of human finger inside their sandwich. Allegedly stemming from an employee trying to cover up after a meat slicing incident, no charges were filed by the customers.
5. A needle
It’s many people’s idea of hell to accidentally discover an old needle in something their eating. That nightmare became a reality for Angelica Cruz in 2001. In the middle of enjoying a Burger King sausage and egg breakfast sandwich, Cruz noticed something piercing her cheek. After extracting the offending needle, she took the chain to court for $11 million - the outcome of which has yet to be reported.
6. A mouse
Rodents don’t tend to rank high on many people’s foodie bucket lists, and with good reason. But, in the cut and thrust of a fast food kitchen, sometimes diners end up with no choice. In one of the more traumatising fast food f*** ups, a Subway customer found that an entire dead mouse had been stuffed into his sandwich by a careless employee.
7. A snake
While we might expect some restaurants to be plagued by conventional critters, a discovery at TGI Fridays proves that almost any animal can make its way onto the dinner table. Tucking into a plate of ribs with a side of broccoli, John Pendleton was understandably alarmed to unearth a decomposing snake head hidden amongst the green stalks. The server was apparently equally alarmed - gagging when Pendleton tried to show him.
In the vast majority of cases, fast food is obviously extremely safe. You’d have to be unbelievably unlucky to encounter any of the things on this list. Nonetheless, it clearly pays to be extra vigilant with every order. You never know what you might unearth.