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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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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.