Panda Express branded bag in hand in car with caption 'If you eat at Panda Express you might want to listen to this' (l) Panda Express employee spooning food from metal container (c) Panda Express customer speaking in car (r)

Joni Hanebutt/Shutterstock @julie_lunar/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘For all they knew, I could have spit in the food’: Panda Express customer received fried rice instead of chow mein. The worker took the rice back

‘He dumped the rice back in with all the other rice.’


Braden Bjella


A user on TikTok has sparked discussion after recounting an experience they had at the fast-food chain Panda Express.

In a video with over 50,000 views, TikTok user Julie (@julie_lunar) says that she ordered chow mein with “super greens” from Panda Express for pickup.

When she picked up the order, she left the store and went into her car, only to return upon realizing that they had given her fried rice instead of chow mein.

“The worker proceeds to open it up and put it back in with the other food,” Julie says. “He literally was taking the super greens out, putting it back with all the super greens, he dumped the rice back in with all the other rice.”

@julie_lunar #pandaexpress #food #foodsafety ♬ original sound – julie_lunar

“I am all for not wasting food, but that has to violate some food safety violations, right?” she asks. “I had brought the order out of the restaurant into my car. For all they knew, I could have spit in the food, sneezed in the food — they just took it back and dumped it back in with all the other food to serve for other people.”

“The manager was standing right next to him watching this happen,” she added in a comment. “he didn’t say anything!”

Other commenters expressed their disgust at the situation, with many tagging the restaurant in their responses.

“Report it to their corporate and report online to health and safety department in your city,” wrote a user.

“I’m a certified food safety trainer. That’s a health code violation,” added another. “He should have thrown out the entire thing(or let you keep it) and made it fresh.”

“No more Panda Express,” stated a third. “NOPE NOPE NOPE!!!!”

The Daily Dot reached out to Panda Express via email and Julie via TikTok comment.

Update 4:19pm CT, July 22, 2023:

In an email to the Daily Dot, a Panda Express spokesperson shared the following: “The health and safety of our guests is always our top priority, and we take our commitment to the highest standards of food safety within our restaurants very seriously. We are aware of the Guest’s experience and actively investigating the claim to quickly resolve this situation.”

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