This Gross TikTok Has People Swearing Off McFlurries Forever

Next time the ice cream machine is broken at your local McDonald's, consider yourself lucky, because there's a good chance you may have avoided an extra crispy McFlurry — one with a hint of cockroach.

After TikTok user Alexa Carcione took a slurp of her Oreo McFlurry, she discovered a startling surprise. "It was like eating a Gusher," she recounted in the comments section of the video that has since gone viral. "Pop. Felt like I was chewing on a shrimp shell." A Fruit Gushers McFlurry probably wouldn't have tasted all that bad, but when Carcione spit out the McFlurry, it was neither a Fruit Gusher nor an Oreo. Instead she found a cockroach.

Carcione recorded the aftermath in her 15-second TikTok video, which shows a bed sheet stained with milkshake and a half-eaten cockroach. "I spit that out the second I knew something wasn't right," she wrote in the subtitles.

Carcione clarified in her caption that she did end up reporting the incident to the manager, but she was not refunded for the McFlurry, nor did she receive an apology. "All the manager said was 'thanks for letting me know.' THANKS FOR THE TRAUMA," Carcione wrote.

Cockroach McFlurry treats are apparently common

Carcione's viral TikTok is now flooded with comments from customers not only demanding an explanation from McDonald's, but also sharing similar experiences. "Every McDonald's in my town had cockroaches. One of them you can't get the ice cream without getting little legs in it," @LillianPlopa wrote. Current employee @Brittany2748 acknowledged that the Frappe machine at the McDonald's she works at is always crawling with cockroaches, while former employee @OverlordNugget added, "If I shut down a machine for deep cleaning, I'd be yelled at."

The McDonald's official website lists food safety as their top priority, explaining that food safety training is required for all crew members and managers. Carcione's TikTok video, however, raises the question of how consistently the training is actually implemented. In practice, it's hard to keep the ice cream machines properly cleaned because doing the job right can take four hours, according to Eat This, Not That! A quick and easy cleanup could prevent some of the bugginess in McDonald's ice cream, however. "Dead flies and dirt collect at the top of the ice cream machine, so if you slide the top off without wiping it first, all those little buggies go in the ice cream mix," TikTok user @jodessy said in 2020.

Insects have been found in McDonald's burgers, too

According to a July 8 posting at Daily Dot, McDonald's has yet to respond to Corcione, who had reached out to the corporate headquarters after posting her viral TikTok video. The news website confirms that Carcione's McFlurry came from the McDonald's by San Diego State University, but considering there has been an alarming number of similar cockroach incidents in other locations, it might be best to avoid the McFlurry treats at every McDonald's altogether.

On the other hand, let's be realistic. McDonald's has famously sold billions and billions of hamburgers over the years, with all the McFlurry treats and french fries that might go with them. Every once in a while, someone is going to get an insect in their food. A customer found a sizeable bug in a Big Tasty burger in Leigh, England, outside Manchester in February (via Manchester Evening News). A couple years before that, a child found a fully intact grasshopper-looking thing in a Chicken Legend meal bought at a McDonald's outside Peterborough, England (via Fox News). Not to pick on McDonald's UK too much, a customer in China recently found live maggots in a McDonald's chicken sandwich (via That's). 

Insects are in just about all the foods we eat

Before Americans reading all these McDonald's insect stories start thinking, "but that shouldn't happen here," they should think again. A report quoted by Business Insider in 2017 said that Americans eat 140,000 insect parts a year on average. Another estimate, from Scientific American, has us eating one or two pounds of bug matter annually. For the super squeamish, the unfortunate news is there is no reasonable way to avoid insects in your food. CNN reports that insect parts are in coffee, black pepper, jelly, raisins, chocolate, peanut butter, spaghetti, mushrooms, asparagus — the list goes on and on. And not just insect parts or eggs, but mold, rodent hairs, and feces, too. 

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration limits how much of this stuff is allowed in various types of food — no more than 450 insect parts in a one-pound box of spaghetti, for example. The FDA isn't trying to protect our health with these limits. They are strictly for the benefit of consumers' comfort levels. "Look, this is all a very, very, very low-risk situation," agricultural and human science professor Ben Chapman told CNN. "I look at it as a yuck factor versus a risk factor. Insect parts are gross, but they don't lead to foodborne illnesses."

It's your call, but it sounds like you can order that McFlurry after all.