Burger King Menu Items You Should Think Twice About

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 Chicken Fries have their shortcomings. 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.

BK Big Fish Sandwich

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.


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

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.

Flame-grilled burgers

It's natural to associate Burger King with the Whopper, which is BK's signature dish, after all. Along with the Whopper, a slew of flame-grilled burgers populate the chain's menu. However, it's worth noting that BK beef patties arrive frozen and raw. That means it's imperative for employees to cook them all the way through, which allegedly doesn't always happen.

On Reddit, one alleged former manager of a Burger King reported being told to toss the raw burgers and serve the cooked ones, but this fix wouldn't necessarily work. Since the cooked ones are mixed in with the inedible ones, the whole batch is potentially contaminated. Most of us surely know already that it's unsafe to consume uncooked ground meat as it may cause foodborne illnesses. 

This safety hazard isn't the only reason Burger King employees may urger you to stay away from the burgers. Other staff members have reported understaffed locations with poorly cleaned broilers and other burger-cooking equipment needing more serious attention (via Reddit). Of course, this is a case of just one location, but it's worth giving your own local Burger King a once-over before ordering there again.


If you've ever bought cheese from the supermarket and left it out for a long time, you've probably noticed it grows mold. That's because most cheeses are meant to be refrigerated. More processed cheese, like the type typically used at Burger King, tends to be fine out of the fridge (though the USDA recommends putting it in the fridge to keep it better for longer), but fast food standards dictate that it needs to be replaced after a certain amount of time.

According to one poster claiming to be a BK employee on Reddit, Burger King cheese has a four-hour lifespan. When prepping for service, cooks place the cheese in a container and put a marker on it indicating that it should be consumed or discarded within four hours. But that's not necessarily what happens at every location, claimed the poster. Some Burger King employees are allegedly instructed to replace the markers with new ones, added one Quora user who claimed that cheese, tomatoes, onions, and other ingredients would routinely get re-used from the previous day at her location.

Sauces and condiments

If you've ever sat down to eat at Burger King, you've probably seen various condiments and sauce bottles adorning your table or a dedicated condiment station. Yet, as one alleged former worker wrote on Quora, condiments wouldn't necessarily get changed out on a timely basis, sometimes even sitting out overnight in their account.

The contents themselves have their own set of complications. Many condiments, like mayonnaise and tartar sauce, need to be refrigerated to stay fresh, but BK staff who are poorly trained or spread too thin at understaffed locations might neglect this task, as one Redditor claimed. In turn, the condiments are left at room temperature and could potentially have gone bad or at least gained an off taste by the time they hit your plate.

Breakfast sausage

Much like other meats on the menu, Burger King's breakfast sausage is one item you may wish to avoid for a few reasons. It comes fully cooked and frozen, noted one employee and Quora user, who says that preparing it involves dipping the sausage patty briefly in the fryer until it reaches the right temperature for serving. It may cook in old or even downright dirty grease if the fryers haven't been cleaned in a while.

To top things off, one Redditor claims that their Burger King manager told them to reset timers for ingredients, including meat that went into fully-prepped breakfast sandwiches that sometimes sat beneath a heat lamp until ordered. In the same thread, another purported employee said that it helps to ask for something to be made fresh when you order. You could also request a slight modification, such as changing condiments, which should mean the sandwich is made to order (though it doesn't necessarily mean the ingredients are ultra-fresh, they admitted).