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Top 5 Outrageous McDonald’s Scandals

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher

Sometimes people are NOT lovin’ it. For this list, we’re looking at the biggest incidents in the recent history of this oh so popular fast food chain, from questionable meats, to scalding hot coffee and labour issues. WatchMojo counts down the Top 5 Outrageous McDonald’s Scandals.

Special thanks to our user roxy for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+outrageous+mcdonalds+scandals.

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Script written by Savannah Sher

Top 5 Outrageous McDonald’s Scandals

Sometimes people are NOT lovin’ it. Welcome to MsMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 5 Outrageous McDonald’s Scandals.

For this list, we’re looking at the biggest incidents in the recent history of this oh so popular fast food chain.

#5: Labor Law Issues

It’s no surprise that working at McDonald’s is not going to offer many benefits outside of discounted greasy food. But in several cases, McDonald’s has been attacked for perpetrating unfair worker treatment in different countries, including things like wage theft and maltreatment of pregnant employees. Stateside, the company has frequently been accused of using unfair labor practices that are not in accordance with state and federal laws, including scheduling shifts of up to 25 hours – without overtime. In the UK, employees of several branches of the chain went on strike in an attempt to get higher wages and guaranteed hours. And one transgender employee sued McDonald’s in 2017 because of “extreme sexual harassment.”

#4: Korean Burger Meat

As you probably know, McDonald’s menus vary around the world, with different menu items being offered in different countries. In South Korea, the Bulgogi Burger is a McDonald’s variation on a local favorite, featuring beef marinated in soy sauce and other ingredients. Unfortunately, this burger caused issues in 2017 when a group of school children became ill after a trip to visit the Golden Arches. Some of the children on the outing as well as their teacher suffered from enteritis, an unpleasant intestinal issue. In another incident, a 5-year-old reportedly even dealt with permanent kidney failure after consuming meat that was allegedly undercooked. The burger was taken off the menu soon after.

#3: Non-Vegetarian Friendly

Let’s be real, there isn’t a whole lot for a vegetarian to eat at McDonald’s. In the US, they don’t even regularly offer a standard veggie burger like many other fast food chains do. For years, even their French fries were cooked in animal-based oils. Then in 1990, the brand announced that their fries would be cooked in vegetable oil moving forward. At last vegetarians visiting McDonald’s with meat-eating friends had an option. What they failed to mention was that there would still be beef tallow involved in the cooking. Over 10 years later, the information came out, and McDonald’s was the subject of a huge class action lawsuit.

#2: Sketchy Ingredients

Alright so no one thinks McDonald’s is health food or anything, but maybe you’ve wondered: how bad can it really be? But then you see those videos going around of pink slime being formed into god knows what and maybe you consider skipping your weekly McDonald’s run. Over the years, the chain has been brought under fire countless times for using less than high quality meat products. On the bright side though, did you ever hear that when McDonald’s referred to the “100% pure beef” that they use in their burgers, that “100% pure beef” was actually just a company name that let them have a loophole? Turns out that is a total myth.

#1: Scalding Hot Coffee

Back in 1994, an elderly woman sued McDonald’s after spilling a cup of their scalding hot coffee onto her lap, necessitating a skin engraftment. Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants was called "the poster child of excessive lawsuits" and many felt it wasn’t fair for her to blame the coffee maker for her accident. Stella Liebeck won the case however, with the jury agreeing that McDonald’s should have reduced the temperature of its coffee after receiving some 700 complaints. They also threw away a chance to settle the lawsuit for $20,000. In 2011, a documentary was released that goes into the details of the ordeal.
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