Burger King Menu Items You Should Think Twice About

Burger King whopper meal
Burger King whopper meal - Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

If you've read "Fast Food Nation" or watched the subsequent documentary of the same name, you're probably aware of the industry's alleged misguided actions when it comes to making and preparing food. Few fast food restaurants are immune to this less-than-savory reputation. But some things happen behind the scenes that you can't find in a critically acclaimed documentary.

Burger King, which did $2.9 billion in sales in 2023 alone, releases changes and updates to its menu throughout the year. While the fast-food behemoth touts meals like its iconic Whopper and French Toast Sticks, there are some menu items you may want to reconsider before ordering again.

We scoured social media posts and forums in search of the scoop from both customers and alleged employees of the chain itself. As it turns out, popular items like the BK Big Fish Sandwich and even something as timid as decaf coffee might be up for a second, less favorable look. Other unlikely offenders, like sauces, cheese, and even the stalwart breakfast menu may also warrant reconsideration. So, what's the real deal behind these menu items, and why might you want to skip them? Here's what we found.

Read more: Fast Food Restaurants That Serve Low-Quality Beef

BK Big Fish Sandwich

Burger King Big Fish Sandwich
Burger King Big Fish Sandwich - Burger King Corporation

It's dinner time and you want Burger King. You feel like a bit of surf 'n turf, so you opt for a Whopper and a BK Big Fish Sandwich. While this is enough food to feed a family, you are pretty content to devour it solo. Not the most brilliant move, though. That fish you're eating may well have been sitting out in the open all day, according to a purported employee writing on Reddit. They wrote that, in the morning, they make the number of fish patties that their manager expects the store to sell. Those patties then might sit around for a bit, though the employee noted that they never served anything unsafe. Another alleged employee wrote much the same on a different Reddit thread. Still, you may want to ask for your fish sandwich to be made fresh, assuming the restaurant isn't in the middle of a busy rush.

In 2021, another Redditor who sampled eight different chains' takes on the fish sandwich deemed the Burger King variety to be "Just an outright wretched sandwich. There was nothing really good about it." However, you may have greater luck with BK's more recent Fiery Big Fish Sandwich. When we reviewed it in February 2024, we found it to be a rather pleasant experience, though other reviewers turned up their noses at the offering.


two Burger King milkshakes
two Burger King milkshakes - Burger King/Facebook

Unfortunately, it turns out that sweet ice cream dreams can turn into something less palatable. BK staff on Reddit have previously reported that the dessert machines are rarely cleaned and advise staying away from them. They claimed that their mixes were made with ingredients past their best-by dates, though that remained unconfirmed. However, reports have emerged that some locations have flunked health inspections after their poorly cleaned ice cream machines were found to harbor mold (via WSB-TV).

Even if you trust your local BK manager to do the right thing, a shake may not be the most health-conscious choice, at least on a regular basis. According to dietitian Amber Pankonin, speaking to Eat This, Not That!, the Chocolate Oreo Shake at BK is the least healthy dessert item you can buy, due in no small part to its heavy sugar content. "With so much sugar and little fiber, this can easily spike blood sugar which could cause fatigue and headaches," she noted.

Chicken Fries

BK Jalapeño Chicken Fries
BK Jalapeño Chicken Fries - Burger King/Facebook

This delectable innovation from Burger King was introduced in 2005 to attract a more spendy customer basethat might be interested in a snackable, higher-quality menu item. Over the next 10 years, the untold truth of BK's chicken fries would prove that it was a popular menu item. The item has been a permanent staple since 2014, and many customers will tell you that chicken fries are their favorite menu item. Yet not everyone's a fan.

Despite the promise of better-quality meat, the poultry comes fully frozen, not fresh, according to one Redditor who claims to have worked at Burger King. For the rest of the day, or until someone orders them, they claimed that the chicken fries sit in the open in a basket at room temperature. When a customer orders them, they go back into the fryer for 20 seconds to heat and give the illusion of being freshly fried. Downthread, another Redditor chimed in that they thought the fries always had a "cooked yesterday texture." In a different Reddit thread from 2023, another customer wrote that the fries "used to be delicious but since they came back they haven't been as good for a couple reasons," citing ingredient changes in both the breading and fry oil as the culprits.


BK Spicy Ch'king sandwich
BK Spicy Ch'king sandwich - Burger King - Louisville Rd, Bowling Green/X, formerly known as Twitter

Your cult classic is about to get a dissuading facelift. Yes, even instant hits are susceptible to employee caution. You may know the Ch'king as a rival to Popeye's and Chick-fil-A's famous chicken sandwiches, which brought in droves of customers and even some violent encounters. So, why do Burger King employees tell you to avoid it at all costs? If you're keeping abreast of this compilation so far, you can likely already guess.

For starters, employees are incredibly reluctant to prep the order from the get-go, which isn't a great sign. One Redditor says the spicy glaze is a thorn in their side to apply to the meat and the menu item "takes forever to prep." But staff distaste shouldn't be the only reason not to order your favorite dish.

Employees in the kitchen report that the breading, which coats the chicken, is so thick that the meat often doesn't cook all the way through. There aren't outright claims of raw chicken consumption with the Ch'king, but if it's not cooking through, it may still be unsafe to eat. Adding to that complication, there are rarely enough fryers to accommodate all the sandwich orders, which could increase wait times and create more chaos in the kitchen.

Flame-Grilled Burgers

Flame-grilled double burger
Flame-grilled double burger - smspsy/Shutterstock

It's natural to associate Burger King with the Whopper. This deliciously crafted burger is BK's signature dish, after all. Along with the Whopper, a slew of flame-grilled burgers populate the chain's menu. But there's something that BK staff want you to know about the beef. Unlike the meat at several other fast food restaurants that comes fresh, BK beef patties arrive frozen and raw, like hockey pucks. When prepping, it's not uncommon for only some of the patties to be cooked through, making them bloody or inedible.

Various managers report on Reddit being told to toss the raw burgers and serve the cooked ones, but this fix doesn't work. Since the cooked ones are mixed in with the inedible ones, the whole batch is potentially contaminated. While social media may have you craving the latest raw meat diet, ultimately, it's unsafe to consume uncooked ground meat as it may cause foodborne illnesses due to bacteria.

This safety hazard isn't the only reason Burger King employees want you to stay away from the burgers. In Reddit threads, staff report the presence of roaches in the kitchen and describe the hose to clean the broiler located right next to the toilet plunger. If you're looking for a flame-grilled burger, your best bet may be your local grocery store and a BBQ.


Beef patty with cheese
Beef patty with cheese - Mphillips007/Getty Images

If you've ever bought cheese from the supermarket and left it out in the open for a long time, you've probably noticed it grows mold. Most cheeses are meant to be refrigerated, and even those that don't require refrigeration will go bad if left outside for long enough. Processed cheese, like the type used at Burger King, tends to be fine out of the fridge for a little while, but it needs to be replaced after a certain duration.

According to employees on Reddit, Burger King cheese has a four-hour lifespan. When prepping for service, the cooks place the cheese in a container ready to be served and put a marker on it for four hours. For example, if the cheese is taken out at 9 a.m., the marker would indicate a 1 p.m. disposal time. But that's not what happens. All too frequently, Burger King employees are instructed to replace the markers with new ones, to avoid tossing out the old slices while still appearing as though the ingredients can pass health inspections. This is murky water to tread, as rotten cheese can be unsafe to eat.

Sauces And Condiments

ketchup and mustard bottles
ketchup and mustard bottles - Marat Musabirov/Getty Images

Pay attention to condiments because they go with almost any food item on the menu. If you've ever sat down to eat at Burger King, you've probably seen various condiments and sauce bottles adorning your table. If you're eating french fries, you might not think twice about dipping them in mayo. Unfortunately, BK staff will tell you these condiment bottles rarely, if ever, get changed or cleaned. The employees merely continue to refill the bottles with more sauce.

It's not just issues with the bottles, though. The contents have their own set of complications. Many condiments, like mayonnaise and tartar sauce, need to be refrigerated to stay fresh, but BK staff often neglect this task or are not instructed to properly attend to the nugget sauces. In turn, the condiments are left at room temperature and have likely gone bad by the time they hit your plate. Other sauces, like the Stacker Sauce, have a reputation for changing shades throughout the night, which would be off-putting to any Burger King employee. It's no wonder Burger King staff tell you to avoid the condiments. Just because they're free doesn't mean you should take them.

Burger King's Eggs

fried egg on stovetop
fried egg on stovetop - MaximT/Shutterstock

Many breakfast sandwiches and combos at BK include this food staple. If you don't know how eggs are prepared at Burger King, your first experience may be a little unsettling and cause you to avoid the product altogether. In fact, it's hard to imagine eggs being made from anything other than, well, eggs. So, how exactly do they make these breakfast items at BK, and why does the process make the dish so undesirable?

To start, the employees spray the cooking surface with a nonstick spray, which isn't too far off from normal. Next, they place a metal grid over the surface to divide the cooking areas evenly. Again, this is a little odd, but not a reason to avoid the food. But the discomfort comes at the end when they pour a liquid "egg" solution into the grid, cooking six eggs in a minute.

While the BK staff don't widely report any health concerns from the eggs or the preparation, they do say that from witnessing this method in practice, they choose to stay away from Burger King eggs, even the ones they make.

Breakfast Sausage

breakfast sausage on sandwich
breakfast sausage on sandwich - Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

Much like other meats on the menu, Burger King's breakfast sausage is one item the staff avoids for a number of reasons. It comes fully cooked and frozen, similar to the beef patty hockey puck. The prep involves dipping it briefly in the fryer until it reaches the right temperature for serving. It also sometimes cooks in dirty grease if the fryers haven't been cleaned in a while, and it seems they usually aren't. Nutritionally speaking, it has a very low health value. Taking these combined factors into consideration, the breakfast sausage at BK looks like an unappetizing choice for any discerning or undiscerning breakfast meat connoisseur alike.

To top things off, the sausage tends to sit out in the open at room temperature for hours at a time if the prep happens long before an order comes. It seems to be a trend that Burger King staff report food sits out for a while and goes bad. Remember, it always helps to ask for something to be made fresh when you order. If you feel uncomfortable asking directly, you can simply request a modification, like no ketchup, and it will have to be made to order.

Anything Else On The Breakfast Menu

two Burger King Croissan'wiches
two Burger King Croissan'wiches - Burger King Cayman Islands/Facebook

What do Burger King, KFC, Wendy's, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, McDonald's, and Long John Silver's all have in common? A former employee of these seven major fast food restaurants has the inside scoop on how Burger King's breakfast lineup compares with most of the other heavy hitters in the industry. BK is not alone in its infamous breakfast offerings; Wendy's stale cookies and Long John Silver's dirty grease managed to find spots atop this Burger King manager's list of grievances. But even with years of experience working and eating at many other places, Burger King still ranks the lowest for them.

According to their review on Quora, the manager states that "BK probably has the worst tasting breakfast menu out of any of the giants in fast food." They note that if the location has a night porter to service the equipment and make sure it's clean and ready for the morning, then everything probably checks out fine. But if it doesn't, the cooks will usually prepare the meat several hours before closing so they can clean the broilers. And while clean broilers are a must, day-old breakfast meat is an almost definite no-go.

Read the original article on Mashed