I did the math on this once and discovered that having our lines closed costs the company about $48 for every second of downtime. That's why our cleaning crew puts crime-scene cleaners in the Tarantino Universe to shame. The night cleanup was especially grueling. As you can imagine, the place gets completely filthy after 16 hours of chicken dismemberment, but we have to have it spotless for the 5 a.m. USDA inspection. They would take a flashlight and look in every little nook and cranny of all the different machines. If there was just a little bit of chicken skin, goo, or tears left on a piece of equipment, the whole area had to be resanitized, and we wouldn't be able to start production for the day.
Alice Welch / US Department Of Agriculture
After all, wouldn't want all that chicken contaminating all that chicken.
All Your Fast-Food Chicken Is Made In The Same Goddamned Place
Dimas Ardian/Getty Images News/Getty Images
So, who buys all these millions of murdered chickens? Everyone.
My company works with basically every fast-food chain you can think of. On a busy day, we might start off a shift making strips for Sonic Drive-In and then switch to White Castle and then to Burger King or McDonald's. And I don't mean that we send them the raw meat that they undercook themselves. No, we fry that shit up at the plant and then box it up with the clients' labels before putting it in the deep freezer. All they're doing is reheating it via another round of deep-frying.
BrokenSphere / Wiki Commons
Eight out of KFC's 11 herbs and spices are varying degrees of permafrost.
The freezer, by the way, is 50 feet tall and 200 yards long -- an endless maze of aisles and pallets of fast-food chicken waiting to be sent out. It's like that warehouse at the end of Indiana Jones, only filled with dead chickens.
But, no melted Nazis. We have to clean them up for the 5 a.m. inspection.
If you're wondering if working among this bloody, feathery horror show has turned me off from eating chicken forever, the answer is shit, no. I once spent three magical months working in Quality Assurance. You see, every company we supply has us test their product for color, temperature, and taste. So, for those three months, I would have a lunch that consisted of White Castle chicken patties, Whataburger chicken fillets, Sonic Drive-In chicken tenders, and Wendy's chicken nuggets. It was glorious. It was like paying Homer Simpson in donuts. And at least I, unlike most people, knew exactly where my food came from.
Sam is also known as Count Baron Johon Von Chicklenstein of Eggenborough and regrets the death of only three chickens in his life. Cezary Jan Strusiewicz is a Cracked columnist, interviewer, and editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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