Not many people can say they were fired over mac and cheese.
A staffer at Panera Bread was fired after a video showing how the chain's mac and cheese is prepared. (Source: TikTok/@briannaraelenee/CNN)
When a young employee dished too much information about one of Panera Bread's most popular dishes, she lost her job.
An employee posted a video to TikTok showing how the chain's popular mac and cheese gets made: coming frozen in a bag and then dropped in hot water to thaw.
Some compared it to “glorified hospital food” or even military MREs - meals ready to eat.
Realizing she'd stepped in a gooey mess, the employee tried to make amends.
"That does not mean that they're not good," she said in a follow-up video. "I will eat our mac and cheese to this day."
By her next video, she was clearly upset.
"I like my job," she said. "I'm really not trying to get fired. I'm sorry."
She was fired.
Technically, she said on Twitter she was dismissed because "having such long nails and my phone out is a risk to food safety."
Panera Bread wouldn't address personnel matters but confirmed that mac and cheese is made "offsite with our proprietary recipe."
"It is shipped frozen to our bakery cafes," the company stated. "This allows us to avoid using certain preservatives that do not meet our clean standards."
The soups are frozen, too. But many wondered what's the big deal.
"People thought it was fresh?" one commenter said.
Another said the frozen mac video only had her craving it.
It could have been worse for Panera. Instead of a pouch dipped in hot water, it could have been one of their employees.
Over the years, there have been several fast food workers who got fired for taking hot baths in giant sinks with someone recording.
One guy at a Wendy's in Florida opted to "rub a dub dub" in a hot tub. He ended up getting in hot water with his boss - though maybe not as hot as the mac and cheese water.
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