Have you ever had doubts about the food preparation conditions of fast food chains?
Well, here's a horror story that you might not want to read if you just had your lunch.
A employee of a McDonald's outlet in LaPlace, Louisiana in the US made a shocking discovering one day when he was handling the ice cream maker.
The 18-year-old, known as Nick on Twitter, had posted photos of dirty trays of the machine two weeks ago (July 15).
Last July when Nick was still working at the US fast food joint, he accidentally spilled some ice cream while he was refilling the ice cream machine. As a result, he had to clean the area up, including the sides of the machine.
After pulling out the trays from inside the machine, Nick encountered what can only be described as nightmare material.
"I was completely shocked by what i saw" Nick told Buzzfeed in an interview. "I thought [the machine] would be cleaned regularly," he said.
While the photos were taken early in July, Nick did not immediately expose his outlet, partly because of the company's policy, which forbids employees from sharing material online which may "undermine the goodwill, reputation, development and/or operation" of the company.
However, after 2 weeks, Nick's dissatisfaction and unhappiness with the company continued to grow, culminating in the release of the infamous tweet.
"The working conditions were ridiculous...I shared (the photos) because I wanted to let people know what they’re consuming, and how disgusting the conditions are," Nick said in his interview.
When Buzzfeed contacted the McDonald's headquarters in the US, a spokesperson said that the chain was "committed to running great restaurants", providing "high-quality food, service, and a clean environment."
Furthermore, Buzzfeed was also told that the tray displayed in the picture was a part of the machine that does not come in contact with the actual ice cream.
After his first tweet, Nick released a couple more photos.
Perhaps not surprisingly, he was fired after that.
According to the interview, his manager said: "You know you're fired right?" - to which, Nick acknowledged without question.
Nearer the region, McDonald's China acted swiftly in response to the furor that has risen up in the US.
In a statement which has been posted on the franchise's website in China, the management in China assured the masses that they were "paying attention to the information being reposted online about US ice cream machines,"
"In China, ice cream machines used at McDonald’s restaurants are automatically disinfected every day at a set time to ensure food safety," the website added.
Here in Singapore, the kitchens at McDonald's look spick and span. At least, it is for one that AsiaOne had visited before.
Well it had to be since the National Environment Agency (NEA) has stringent rules for food hygiene standards in Singapore.
"Our soft serve machines undergo a thorough cleaning process every day, as well as a heat treatment cycle at night to destroy any bacteria in the equipment," said the McDonald's spokesperson.
The spokesperson said that undertaking a "rigorous" cleaning protocol at their restaurants is "an integral part of (their) business".
All other equipment in the kitchens also undergo regular and timely cleaning, he added.