Worker 'Exposes' Movie Theater Nacho Cheese as Viewers Beg for Machine to Be Cleaned

An alleged movie theater worker has shown how the cheese from your nachos is really made in a video which can also be seen here, although some are more concerned by the cleanliness of it all.

"Nacho cheese is not homemade, and you probably got cancer from the hot plastic bag," wrote TikTok user @melxmamaz, as she showed herself loading the machine with cheese. "Exposing movie theatres," reads the on-screen text.

A plastic bag of cheese is attached to a tube, before being placed into a lower tray, with the spout facing down. The attached tube is then guided through the machine to the pump at the bottom. Another pouch of cheese is then loaded into the above heating tray.

According to Funacho, a nacho cheese machine retailer, the pouches need to be heated for a minimum of four hours until the cheese reaches 140F before it is opened. Once opened, it is then required to keep at 140F at all times. The cheese can be kept for five days once opened.

Viewers were left less-than-shocked by the fact the cheese is not homemade, adding that they, "didn't expect y'all to be making a roux in the back and stir in Monterey Jack."

However, the use of a plastic bag with heat did concern others, though the claim it is carcinogenic cannot be verified, nor can claims of plastic causing cancer in general.

When it comes to the question of whether plastic found in food containers is cariogenic, research leans on both sides. Some analysis has suggested that plastics may leach chemicals if they're scratched or heated, and concern often lies with bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates.

In the US, DEHP (di-2-ethylhexyl-phthalate) is a substance classified as reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen. In 2011, The International Agency for Research on Cancer's classification of DEHP was lifted to Group 2B—possibly carcinogenic to humans, based on evidence that it causes cancer in laboratory animals.

Over the years, Congress has also banned the use of plastics which contain more than 0.1 percent of any eight phthalates in children's toys.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is another chemical used to soften plastics, which can be found in food and drink containers. Although, the FDA views that, "based on its most recent safety assessment, BPA is safe at the current levels occurring in foods," widespread concern led industry to stop the use of BPA in baby bottles, sippy cups and formula packaging.

Different states have different regulations on the use of BPA in consumer products, for example Connecticut banned its use in thermal receipts, due to concerns over the health of unborn babies when handled in high amounts by pregnant cashiers.

The carcinogenic claims about the heated bags by the TikTok user are difficult to verify even with an available ingredient list, given that chemicals and plastics are still subject to ongoing research and studies by huge bodies—many of which reach different outcomes and views.

The video garnered further concern too, but for one factor Mel didn't point out—the lack of cleanliness inside the machine. Old cheese can be seen sitting on the inside of the machine, as the bags are replaced and changed, leading viewers to beg the workers to clean it.

"Please take the machine apart and clean it. It can't be that hard," wrote one user.

Older videos by the TikTok user also show her "exposing" how other menu items are made, including popcorn "butter" actually being an oil.

Newsweek has contacted @melxmamaz for comment.

Nachos with cheese on top and lime
Stock image of nachos with melted cheese on top. Getty Images