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I saw this clip about McDonald's workers being told to put mustard on burns, and I had to Google it.

There's a dirty little secret when it comes to getting on-the-job burns when working at a place like McDonald's. And yes, I'm aware that not every franchise does this … but a lot of them do.

I saw this clip about McDonald's workers being told to put mustard on burns, and I had to Google it.

I actually worked at a fast food place (hint: rhymes with “parties") for a few years when I moved to Kansas City after leaving college. Yes, burns were frequent. So were megalomaniac bosses and hella long shifts, for that matter — but I digress.

I do not remember anybody telling me to put mustard on my burns, but it wouldn't surprise me if that actually did happen.


What I DO remember is watching a coworker of mine — a single mother trying to work as many hours as she could — burning herself badly when she made a small mistake in judgment and grabbed an extremely hot pan. Mistakes like that happen when you're exhausted.

She was in tears, but she didn't want to tell management because she needed the job so badly.

I can tell you: That kind of thing happens every day.

If you don't want to watch the video at the bottom, here's a quick summary:

Some McDonald's workers report that disposing of hot grease has become a challenge because the machines designed to do it don't work anymore. As in, they're broken. Instead, they say, they're instructed to pour the hot grease into a garbage bag filled with ice. Yummy.

They're supposed to have elbow-length gloves on to prevent burns, but of course, those disappear at some point and are never replaced, which is why you see the paper towel being used above. Of course, burns happen. And in many cases, employees are told to treat the burns with … cream? Medicated ointment? Some other modern medical thinger that would protect the skin from damage?

Ahem.

(Yes, I'm aware that it's an old-fashioned remedy that can sometimes help with pain, but it's far from sanitary or even very wise. That is what came back on my Google search results, anyway. And, really ... mustard?!)

Employees say the first-aid kits are frequently minimally stocked or even empty, so there really aren't a lot of options when they burn themselves. So ... condiments!

Yes, fast food workers are pissed. For good reason. It's not just about the wages, however.

Here's the three-minute video if you've got the time — and the stomach — to find out more.

Warning: At about 02:30 are some graphical images of skin burns.

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Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

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