10 Fast Food Joints That Were Shut Down in 2024 Due to Unsavory Conditions

Keep clear of these fast food locations if you live nearby or frequent them often.

out of business sign
Updated July 18, 2024
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Fast food restaurants can vary from location to location. You may get a deal at one restaurant, but not another, or different locations can have different hours.

Locations can also vary when it comes to how clean they are and you may be surprised to know that some fast-food spots with well-known names have been cited by health authorities and even shut down.

Has one of your favorite local spots been cited by the health department? Check this list to see if a restaurant you’ve been frequenting isn’t up to health standards so you can skip it and avoid wasting money on food you may not even be able to safely eat.

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McDonald’s, Oakland, California

Refrina/Adobe mcdonalds restaurant building

A McDonald’s at 1330 Jackson St. in Oakland, California, was recently shut down by the county’s environmental health department for a rat infestation.

Live rats and dead rats were found at the restaurant, leading to the location being shut down. Restaurant employees said the franchisee owner warned them not to document the rat problem or they would be fired.

Burger King, Sidney, Montana

Refrina/Adobe burger king in manassas

A Burger King at 416 N. Central Ave. in Sidney, Montana, went viral when a customer made a viral post about allegedly finding a tapeworm in their burger.

The restaurant voluntarily shut down and was visited by a county health inspector before getting the all-clear to reopen when the inspector did not find any evidence of an infestation.

Little Caesars Pizza, Nipomo, California

wolterke/Adobe little caesars restaurant exterior

A Little Caesars Pizza at 532 W. Tefft St. was cited at the end of 2023 for being an “imminent public health hazard.”

The restaurant was cited for not having warm water and had to stay closed until the issue was resolved.

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Burger King/Popeye’s, Wayne, New Jersey

wolterke/Adobe popeyes louisiana kitchen exterior resturant

A Burger King/Popeye’s combination restaurant was closed due to numerous violations related to food safety.

The location at 1046 Hamburg Turnpike is owned by a franchisee who has allegedly neglected the property as they go through bankruptcy.

McDonald’s, Columbus, Ohio

wolterke/Adobe mcdonalds restaurant exterior

Another McDonald’s that was shut down was in Columbus at the end of 2023 when a guest found a surprising object in their food bag.

A customer reported finding drug paraphernalia in the bag with the food they ordered, prompting the health department to investigate the location at 619 Harrisburg Pike.

The department didn’t find any additional drug issues but cited the restaurant for other problems related to construction at the restaurant.

Wetzel’s Pretzels/Burger King, Palm Desert, California

Debbie Ann Powell/Adobe wetzels pretzels food truck

The Wetzel’s Pretzels and Burger King locations inside a Walmart were both shut down for a day in February.

The restaurants were cited for having a lack of hot water, which also affected food sales at Walmart.

All three stores are located at 34500 Monterey Ave., Suite 100, in Palm Desert.

Waffle House, Meridianville, Alabama

jetcityimage/Adobe waffle house iconic southern restaurant

The Waffle House at 11879 Highway 231 431 N. in Meridianville was briefly shut down when health inspectors found that the restaurant had no hot water.

The health department also cited the restaurant for a dirty ice machine and dirty soda nozzles.

McDonald’s, Temple, Texas

Tada Images/Adobe drive though lane

Rats affected the operation of another McDonald’s location, this one at 3403 S. 31st St. in Temple, in March.

The restaurant was limited to only drive-thru orders at first when county health inspectors visited the location, but the owner chose to shut down the location to address the problem before serving more customers.

Popeye’s, Pittsburgh

mdurson/Adobe popeyes louisiana kitchen adobe

Health inspectors shut down Popeye’s at 6288 Steubenville Pike in Pittsburgh for improper sanitization issues and a lack of hot water in the bathrooms.

The health department, which deemed the issues as repeat violations, allowed the store to reopen after a re-inspection.

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McDonald’s, Arkadelphia, Arkansas

IB Photography/Adobe mcdonalds restaurant sign

A McDonald’s at 3114 Pine St. in Arkadelphia was closed by the owner in order to mitigate a pest infestation.

The owner said the decision to close down and fix the pest issue was his decision as part of switching to new owners. But customers had been posting to social media sites about rats, and a recent report by a health inspector noted he could pests running around in the ceiling.

Bottom line

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You can save money by skipping out on a restaurant that’s been cited for health code violations, but there are other ways to keep more money in your wallet as well.

See if your favorite restaurants have mobile apps that you can download and earn points that you can use as rewards when you eat out.

It’s also a good idea to find ways to save money on groceries and eat at home instead of going out to eat regularly, which can add up.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen

Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.