Note: This article contains coarse language that may offend some readers.

Nick, 18, is a former employee at a Louisiana McDonald’s. He worked there for approximately five months as a general crew member before he was fired … for exposing unsanitary components of the restaurant.


He described his job function to BuzzFeed News as:

“Doing anything we’re told to do.”

One day, when a manager told him to refill the ice cream machine, an accidental spill led to a revolting discovery:

While cleaning the sides of the ice cream machine, Nick pulled out the trays out from the side.

What he saw shocked him:

When he found what “looked to be mold completely coating the inside of a tray,” Nick racked his brains to remember if he or anyone else had ever been assigned to clean those particular machines.

No one had.

BuzzFeed News reached out to the owner and operator of that Louisiana McDonald’s, John Valluzzo, for a statement. He eventually responded, saying:

[McDonald’s] regularly conduct[s] in-person and online employee training sessions as well as internal inspections to ensure crew members are following safe food practices.

A representative from McDonald’s HQ reached out to BuzzFeed News to supplement Valluzzo’s statement, reassuring consumer that the tray, “does not come into contact with any food.”

Valluzzo added:

“In addition, we have a long history of passing regular health department inspections.”

Unfortunately, the most recent health inspections done for this McDonald’s transpired in 2015, where there were critical food safety violations.

A company wide policy prohibits employees from slandering the company, as written in their social media policy:

In order to protect the McDonald’s brand, we do not use social media to undermine the goodwill, reputation, development and/or operation of McDonalds, our products, our services and our people.

Any deviation from these commitments may be subject to disciplinary or other appropriate action, up to and including termination of employment.

With this policy in mind, Nick debated whether to share these incriminating photos online. But “deep down” he had an inkling he’d post it. He told BuzzFeed News:

“The working conditions were ridiculous — everyone was inappropriate and nothing was clean. […] I wanted to let people know what they’re consuming, and how disgusting the conditions are.”

Fueled by the adrenaline of exposing the corporation, Nick went further and tweeted out images of frozen patties:

He added:

I mean it’s no surprise that it’s frozen but this s**t isn’t even real meat or fish.

Nick made sure to point out that the photos only reflected the particular McDonald’s at which he worked, and did not reflect the company as a whole. Nonetheless, following the release of the photos, his manager pulled him aside and told him he was fired.

He said the manager even “begged” him to delete his tweet. In response to that, Nick said:

“They said I was slandering [the] McDonald’s brand. I don’t tweet lies. I took the tray out and took a picture.”

He has since secured another job.

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