Nothing whips the internet into a frenzy quite like negative rumors about a fast food chain. From the somewhat believable to the downright insane, there’s no shortage of wacky stories when it comes to our favorite places to grab food on the go. Here’s a look at some of the craziest fast food urban legends. (The one on page 10 may be the zaniest of them all.)
1. Subway opened a franchise in an elephant graveyard
The sandwich chain gained its prowess by opening up shop just about anywhere, including gas stations. But according to Thought Catalog, Subway has also set up shop in an elephant graveyard. While reputable sources have yet to confirm this claim, there is evidence of Subway shops popping up in churches and on riverboats.
2. McDonald’s shakes are made with pig fat
It’s a bit understandable that this rumor would fool people — have you seen the calorie count on those shakes?! But, as Business Insider points out, the idea McD’s uses animal fat to make their shakes is a work of fiction.
3. KFC is smuggled to the Gaza Strip
This legend is actually true. The New York Times reported in 2013 that underground tunnels are used to get fast food into Gaza from Egypt because entry and exit of goods is restricted. The food costs twice as much and the trip to get the food to Gaza can take around two hours.
4. McDonald’s beef contains other parts of the cow
Not surprisingly, rumors that an entire cow gets ground up to make McD’s burger patties went viral. But Business Insider points out that the chain has patties made only from parts of the cow containing meat — no eyes or lips included.
5. Tim Horton’s spikes their goods with drugs
We get it — their coffee and donuts are addicting! But as Mashed.com points out, Tim Horton’s inventory is just that dang good, no nicotine or MSG added. Now, as for the rumors they’re getting into the marijuana business …
6. Taco Bell serves horse meat
Business Insider says there has only been one instance where a Taco Bell restaurants in the UK were using ground beef from a supplier that included more than 1% horse meat. This allegedly isn’t a problem at any locations in the U.S.
7. Starbucks is anti-military
According to Mashed.com, this whole rumor started because of a viral message in the early 2000s bashing Starbucks for refusing to donate coffee to the Marines because they were against the war in Iraq. Not only was the statement false, but Starbucks has also since gone out of their way to do outreach for active military and veterans.
8. KFC doesn’t actually use chicken
To refresh your memory: This whole urban legend started because Kentucky Fried Chicken chose to shorten its name to KFC, thus sparking rumors of a conspiracy that the chicken wasn’t really chicken. Business Insider reminds us the name change has nothing to do with what KFC’s food is made of.
9. McDonald’s uses fake egg in their breakfast sandwiches
Maybe this one isn’t all that hard to believe. There are so many egg substitutes out there these days, why wouldn’t the Golden Arches? However, McD’s took Business Insider UK behind the scenes to show how their eggs are laid by real chickens and cracked on site.
10. Wendy’s uses robots to fight wage increases
You might have heard that a small handful Wendy’s restaurants started rolling out self-ordering kiosks so you don’t have to talk to a human cashier — and that the kiosks are meant to replace humans so Wendy’s doesn’t have to meet rising minimum wage requirements. Wendy’s denies the claim, but other chains like McD’s are hopping on board.
11. McDonald’s puts ‘fillers’ in their nuggets
Okay, so this one is kind of true, but it’s not what you think. Business Insider references a Q&A where the chain reveals is uses chicken skin to add flavor to their nuggets and help them keep their shape. While that may sound like some trickery, keep in mind most people eat chicken skin off a drumstick, so …
12. A woman found a finger in her Wendy’s chili
Once upon a time — well, in 2005 — Anna Ayala claimed she found a finger in her Wendy’s chili. As the story unfolded, it was revealed that Ayala put the finger there herself as part of an extortion scheme. She was arrested, served four years of a nine-year jail sentence, then was arrested again in 2013 for lying to the police.
13. Arby’s meat is liquified
It’s a fair rumor to believe since the texture of their roast beef is kind of bizarre. But as Business Insider UK reveals, Arby’s meat is in fact smoked and sliced on location. Maybe it’s just not the best quality of meat you can buy?
Now we’ve heard everything …
14. Dairy Queen doesn’t actually contain dairy
It isn’t entirely clear how this urban legend started. But somewhere, someone claimed the “soft serve” at Dairy Queen is actually void of dairy. Mashed.com not only points out that this isn’t true but also urges you to not spread this rumor to anyone who’s lactose intolerant. (Because that’s just mean.)
15. In-n-Out prints bible verses on their cups
The last urban legend on our list is actually a fact! The west coast burger chain prints bible citations on the linings of their cups and other discreet places. Snopes says a formal explanation for this has never been given. Which, of course, leaves room for more urban legends to manifest …
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