Whether or not we'd like to admit it, almost everybody who eats at a fast food restaurant acknowledges the possibility that the kitchen area is secretly disgusting. But it's kind of an unspoken thing, seeing as we're always hoping we're wrong.
Unfortunately, sometimes we're not.
Earlier this week, a video of the unsanitary conditions at a Golden Corral Buffet in Florida exploded onto the internet. Brandon Huber, the employee who shot the footage, claimed that his company was storing raw meats and other buffet items outside near the restaurant's dumpster during a sanitation inspection. Huber also implied that the food would eventually be brought back inside to be cooked after sitting outside, surrounded by flies.
READ: 10 Things You Didn't Know About McDonald's, Taco Bell, and Other Fast Food Restaurants
Golden Corral responded to the video on Monday morning, stating that the manager of that particular location was fired and that the food was later disposed of, rather than served. Still, it's not enough to erase the images from our memory. In fact, it only brings up memories of the following instances of fast-food negligence.
Let's gross ourselves out, shall we?
Taco Bell Shell Licker
At the beginning of June, an employee at a Taco Bell restaurant in Ridgecrest, Calif., was photographed licking a stack of taco shells. The company claimed the shells were intended for practice purposes only (to train workers on preparing their new Cool Ranch Locos Doritos Tacos) and intended for the trash. Still, Taco Bell eventually fired the employee for violating food handling procedures.
Drinking Ice Cream at Wendy's
Also in June, a Wendy's employee held his head under the ice cream nozzle in order to drink a Frosty straight from the machine. A photo of the incident found its way to Reddit, along with a caption from the user who posted it: "I was going to buy a frosty from Wendys until I saw the employee do this." The employee was soon fired, according to a Twitter post from the company.
Burger King's Shoe Lettuce
An Ohio Burger King fired three of its employees after they posted a photo to 4Chan.com depicting of one of the workers standing in two tubs of the restaurant's shredded lettuce (along with a caption reading, "This is the lettuce you eat at Burger King"). A statement later released by the company explained their zero-tolerance policy when it comes to mishandling food.
Domino's Pizza's Snotty Sandwiches
In April 2009, two workers at a Domino's Pizza in North Carolina filmed themselves messing with an order of sandwiches intended for delivery. Restaurant employee Michael Setzer farted on a salami slice, shoved cheese up his nose, and expelled mucus onto the sandwiches while his coworker, Kristy Hammonds, narrated the action. Although they claimed they never actually delivered the food, both Setzer and Hammonds were fired.
KFC's Tongued Potatoes
Earlier this year, a photo of a KFC employee in Tennessee started making the rounds on social media. In it, she was pretending to lick a tray of mashed potatoes. A spokesman for KFC claimed the potatoes were never served and explained that the worker was immediately terminated.
A Burger King Bath
In celebration of his birthday, a teenage Burger King employee in Xenia, Ohio, decided to take a bath in a kitchen utility sink while his friends laughed and videotaped the incident. He and his friends were soon fired after he uploaded the video to MySpace, and Burger King ordered a complete sterilization of the entire kitchen.
Phlegm-Laced Tea From McDonald's
A 19-year-old McDonald's employee in South Carolina was arrested in August 2012 for spitting into two orders of iced tea. Marvin Washington Jr. expectorated into the drinks after they were returned by customers for not being sweet enough, but the customers later discovered his phlegm, and surveillance videos later confirmed the crime.
Taco Bell's Pee Nachos
In August of 2012, multitasking Taco Bell employee Cameron Jankowski placed an order of Nachos Bell Grande on the floor of his Indiana workplace, urinated on the nachos, and then proceeded to snap a photo of the prank. After the pic gained traction on Twitter, Jankowski claimed that he never served the nachos, but rather threw them in the trash. He was eventually suspended and fired.