The Top 10 Dirtiest Fast Food Chains

There is a favorite fast food restaurant for everyone. For whatever reason, its the one we go to time and time again. But after reading the results of recent sanitary surveys, you may just stop eating fast food altogether.

We all eat fast food. When you don’t have time for a prepared meal, when looking for a quick fix, or if you just have that craving, where do we go? We go to a fast food chain such as Burger King, McDonalds, Taco Bell, or KFC, to name a few.

But when we’re biting into that juicy burger, chomping on those crispy fries, or slurping that soft drink, do we realize what we’re actually eating? Do we notice the repulsing cleaning procedures and the amount of bacteria we’re consuming?

Well help is here! Here is a list of the top 10 most germ-filled fast food chains. This is based on a variety of recent studies. Keep in mind that a critical violation is considered by the FDA to be hazardous to your health, and likely to make you sick in some way.

Taco Bell

In these various recent studies, an average of 100 Taco Bell restaurants was sampled to test sanitary conditions. There were found to be 91 critical violations, coming in as the fewest amount in these surveys. These violations were due mostly to dirty food preparation counters and rodent droppings. But hey, if you like some Mexican food, then Olay! Enjoy!


The world’s most popular fast food chain, with its famous golden arches came in at 9 on the list. Out of the 100 observed restaurants, 136 critical violations were found. In many more than one of them, an untrained and uncertified food handler was on the job, which is prohibited by law in many U.S. states.


These 100 KFC restaurants tallied up 157 critical violation and two-thirds of these “finger lickin’ good” restaurants had at least 1 violation. At just one KFC there have been 2 cases of salmonella poisoning, both being denied by the franchise owner. That particular restaurant was cited for 4 critical violations.


Of the 100 Subways, 160 critical violations were found. A common violation in many of them was improper temperatures for storing food.

Jack in the Box

This 100-store collection of Jack in the Box’s tallied 164 critical violations. One particular branch in California was reported to be the cause of 3 food borne illnesses.

Dairy Queen

The 100 of these restaurants tallied 184 critical violations. One of these in Virginia had a number of violations due to grime and debris. When revisited by the inspectors, this branch had fixed all of the problems.


The 100 Hardees totaled 206 critical violations. Again and again, insects and rodents were found in the restaurants.


This popular fast food chain also had 206 critical violations. But due to the fact that more branches had at least 1, Wendy’s is number 3 on the list. At one particular branch in Arizona, inspectors found recurring problems involving food holding temperatures, mice droppings on the shelves, bare hand food contact, and one food borne illness complaint.


The 100 Arby’s had 210 critical violations. In many Arby’s, violations were due to improper hand-washing and bare hand contact with ready-to-eat food.

Burger King

The “King” of critical violations tallied 241. One Virginia Burger King had 14 violations alone. Included in these were things such as grime on the ice chute, uncovered food in the fridge, and one employee using his hands to scoop ice into cups.

The 1000 sampled restaurants tallied 1,755 critical violations. 613 of those were cited at least once. So of the popular fast food chains, 60 percent had problems inspectors considered hazardous to the consumers health.

Next time you need a quick fix, and head down to your local Burger King, Arby’s , or McDonald’s just remember: The employees may not wash their hands, the food may have been kept at the wrong temperature, and who knows, someone may be forming your burger with their bare hands.

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Published in: Consumer Information


RSSComments: 15  |  Post a Comment
  1. this is not surprising that these chains are unsanitary but i didn’t realize just how bad it was

  2. I’ve always loved heading out to Burger King for a warm juicy burger….until now.

    Thanks for informing me about this.


  3. Interesting article, thanks for the info.

  4. I recently threw-up after eating Windy’s and Taco Bell, now I understand why…every time we eat out, it’s like going to a dinner party with rodents and roaches. Only difference is they don’t use the public restrooms, they use the counters we eat on instead.

  5. A local TV show invited a health inspector to inspect a few household kitchens by restaurant standards. The housewives wad given a week to get ready for the inspector’s visit and they were confident theirs were spotless. The inspector found 343 violations on average from the storage of cleaners to the temperature of meat kept in the refrigerator. The best had 301 and the worst had 421.

    So far the tally is:

    Taco bell – 91
    Mc D’s – 136
    KFC – 157
    Subway – 160
    Jack In the Box – 164
    DQ – 184
    Hardees – 206
    Wendy’s – 206
    Arby’s – 210
    Burger King – 241
    Your home – 343

    Yo Quero Taco Bell.

  6. well this article isn’t about your home’s germs. but even so, would you rather yourself handle raw meat with your hands, or some random person you’ve never seen in your life? you’re not going to get sick from your own germs. and let’s compare illness between your own kitchen and fast food restaurants. there are many times more cases of sickness eatin out, than eating it. but thanks for your comment

    Keep on writing!

  7. It is very true ! Taco Bell and KFC are some of the worst and here they are joined together into one restaurant.So that means double the trouble.On a recent visit there I was served uncooked chicken and watched as the manager with conjuctivitis handled her eye and money and FOOD.We really need to stop going to these places .We are the ones keeping them in business. !!!

  8. “The truth is stranger than fiction’s” comment and your article… great article.

    Best wishes.


    -Liane Schmidt.

  9. the most nasty place ever is mcDonalds im not suprised. i heard that mcdonalds has more bacteria than a toilet in there ice and its nasty that people can stand it there

    thank you leting me know

  10. I personally GUARENTEE that ALL PROBLEMS are do to DIRTY DISGUSTING MEXICANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. what about the worlds wierdest restaurants , like the hitlers place,

  12. i believe this list is pretty accurate. besides all the violations they mention they forget to talk about pest. I used to work at a pest control company in LA county. I totally agree with this list because Burger King is always the dirtiest. THEY ARE KNOWN FOR HAVING RAT, MICE, AND ROACH PROBLEMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! KFC AND MCDONALDS AS WELL!!!!! now I can only vouch for the restaurants in LA county….. but this needs to be addressed. IF YOU READ THIS, I STRONGLY URGE YOU TO SERIOUSLY CONSIDER STOP GOING TO BURGER KING, IF NOT ALL FAST FOOD PLACES IN GENERAL. IF YOU HAD ANY IDEA HOW DISGUSTING AND DIRTY THOSE PLACES CAN BE, YOU WOULD PROBABLY THROW UP!

  13. Shut the hell up about “dirty disgusting Mexicans”. I’m not Mexican or even Hispanic, but that pisses me off.

    Still- the article… good to know. Really. I puked after eating at McDonald’s and now I know why.

  14. Most of you say stuff like, “Thanks for telling me, I aint eating this no more”. But you will end up eating it again. You will not care about what inspectors say, you will continue to eat the food because you enjoy it.

    I have to agree to Joe Brady on the other hand, because he made a great point. I would rather handle raw meat bare handed then someone else I have no relations or don’t even know handle my meat with there bare hands. So the results for the inspection on our own houses does not concern me one bit.

  15. oh thats gross dude but hey its gonna help me with my project! XD thanks!

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