McDonald's mold
Mold from the ice cream tray of a Louisiana McDonald's Twitter

UPDATE: July 31, 5:05 P.M. EDT

International Business Times received a statement from McDonald's.

“We are committed to running great restaurants that provide our customers with high quality food, service and a clean environment. The tray pictured is designed to catch any leaks from the equipment seals which protects other parts of the machine. This part does not come into contact with the ice cream served and is required to undergo regular and timely cleaning, ” said Terri Hickey, a spokesperson for McDonald’s Corporation, in an email.

Original Story:

Photos of a moldy ice cream machine tray from a locally owned McDonald’s franchise in LaPlace, Louisiana, caused outrage online and a response from the headquarters … in China.

The viral photos were posted online by an 18-year-old who worked at the restaurant for five months.

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"I was completely shocked by what I saw,” the employee told Buzzfeed, who only identified him as Nick. “I thought [the machine] would be cleaned regularly.”

Nick said that he discovered the moldy tray when cleaning ice cream that he accidentally spilled.

In China, McDonald’s posted a statement on Weibo, a Chinese micro-blogging site, and its corporate website.

“We're paying attention to the information being reposted today online about U.S. ice cream machines,” read the statement, according to Reuters on Wednesday. “In China, ice cream machines used at McDonald's restaurants are automatically disinfected every day at a set time to ensure food safety.”

The American McDonald’s site and social media are bereft of such a statement.

The incident happened a month ago, and the photos were posted on Nick’s Twitter account on July 14.

The employee violated the company’s social media policy which states: “In order to protect the McDonald’s brand, we do not use social media to undermine the goodwill, reputation, development and/or operation of McDonald’s, our products, our services and our people.”

Nick told Buzzfeed that he was pulled aside by a manager a week ago and was fired.

"The working conditions were ridiculous — everyone was inappropriate and nothing was clean," he said. “They banned me from that McDonald's.”

McDonald’s did not respond to International Business Times’ request for comment Thursday, but did respond to Buzzfeed.

“(We are) committed to running great restaurants (with) high-quality food, service, and a clean environment,” said a McDonald’s spokesperson to Buzzfeed.

“This is a part of our soft-serve equipment that does not come into contact with any food and is required to undergo regular and timely cleaning,” the representative stated.

Nick kept the pictures for two weeks before posting them online.

“I shared it because I wanted to let people know what they’re consuming, and how disgusting the conditions are,” he said.

Social media was also disgusted, with numerous posts about the incident. Animal rights organization PETA also chimed in.

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Former McDonald's employees also commented about the incident.

hijden (@Mrhijden) July 27, 2017