A former McDonald's worker has lifted the lid on what it's really like to work at one of the world's biggest fast food chains.

FEMAIL spoke exclusively to a former employee from a south-east London branch of the restaurant, who revealed the shocking truth about working under the famous golden arches.

Robyn, who did not reveal her surname, revealed how the hygiene standards in her branch were shrugged off by co-workers who washed their hands just three times during a shift - rather than every half hour, as detailed in their staff policy.

She recalled watching chefs pick their noses and take out the bins without washing their hands, shortly before handling food.


Dealing with hundreds of customers every day was not always easy, and once Robyn even spotted a man watching pornography on his phone as he waited for his order.


McDonald's instructs its staff to wash their hands with antimicrobial soap at least every 30 minutes, but Robyn said this wasn't the case in the restaurant where she worked.

She said: "The chefs and the till staff are meant to wash their hands every half an hour, that's in their policy, but I would see people picking their noses, wiping their mouths and handling foods. I was like 'I don't want to eat that.'"

"They'd wash their hands when they got in and when they went on their break, but that's it. They'd wash them maybe three times but it's meant to be at least five in a shift. It was really unhygienic."

She added: "They'd take the bins out and then be handling food after and some people wouldn't wash their hands."


As one of the UK's most popular fast food outlets, McDonald's serves customers from all walks of life - which often means unsavoury characters stopping by.

Robyn told how employees were treated like dirt' by their customers, with teenagers often deliberately making a mess so she would have to clean it up.

"It's degrading when you're at work," she admitted.

Robyn recalled an unpleasant Friday night shift when she came across a customer behaving very inappropriately as he waited for his food.

She said: "One Friday night a man watched porn while he was waiting for his burger. He was standing there with his back to the wall with his phone angled but I could see what he was looking at. I was only 17 at the time."


She said she'd never order a Big Mac because the beef burgers are often left waiting to be sold for a while. Photo / Getty Images
She said she'd never order a Big Mac because the beef burgers are often left waiting to be sold for a while. Photo / Getty Images

From fries to Big Macs, the McDonald's menu has a huge variety and plenty of purse-friendly options.

But Robyn advises customers to only eat the fries and chicken products like McNuggets as they can see them being prepared.

She explained: "Even when I go in there now I'd never get beef because it's just been sitting there and it tastes really dry. If you order it different to the way [it's advertised], it's freshly made - so ask for no onions, lettuce or whatever."


McDonald's prides itself on offering career opportunities for its employees, and claims that 90 per cent of their business managers started off working as servers and chefs.

However, Robyn says the restaurant she worked in would only take employees in for three months at a time because that was the probationary period, after which they would be eligible for a pay rise.

She also claims that the recruiter led her on about the opportunities she'd have while working for the company.

Robyn said: "They always said you could work your way up. In the induction they played you videos and it made you think if you were in McDonald's you could travel around the world to America, India, all these places, but then they just want you to work for them and not give you pay rises."

A McDonald's spokesperson said: "Food quality, hygiene and safety are of the utmost importance to us and we have strict standards and policies in place for which all of our people receive regular training. We take any allegation like this extremely seriously, and would welcome the opportunity to investigate further.

"Our people are at the heart of our business and, as a responsible and proud employer, we are committed to investing in and supporting them, if anyone has concerns we would encourage them to speak to us or their manager directly."