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Best fast food news of 2015

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Thursday, December 24, 2015, 2:26 PM

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 12, 2012, FILE PHOTO,Mark Lennihan/AP

More than 14,300 Mickey D’s restaurants in the country started serving the most important meal of the day all day in October.

Even the E. coli outbreak at Chipotle can’t stop one of the greatest years in fast food.

McDonald’s all-day breakfast gave Egg McMuffin worshipers a few extra hours of bacony goodness; Pizza Hut united America’s two favorite foods – hot dogs and pizza – into one hybrid combo; and Taco Bell tested a fried chicken shell.

But there was more, oh so much more:

1. All-day breakfast at McDonald’s.

More than 14,300 Mickey D’s restaurants in the country started serving the most important meal of the day all day in October. Sadly, the extended breakfast menu only features about half of the typical 24 items on the menu. The most notable absence is the iconic “Big Breakfast” platter — which includes scrambled eggs, sausage, a hash brown, a biscuit and the option of hotcakes.

2. Pizza Hut launches pie with hot dog crust.

It may be the only pizza in the world that comes with a side of French’s mustard. Pizza Hut’s Hot Dog Bites Pizza comprises a one-topping pie ringed by two-dozen mini-hot dogs in the crust.

Crispy Chicken Taco at Taco Bell.Taco Bell

Crispy Chicken Taco at Taco Bell.

3. Taco Bell testing a new taco with fried chicken shell.

The chain known for Crunch Wraps and burritos launched the Naked Crispy Chicken Taco at select locations. The loco connection is made with a fried chicken taco shell stuffed with ground beef, lettuce, tomato, shredded cheese. Take that, KFC Double Down.

4. Chick-Fil-A opens largest outpost in Midtown.

The southern fried chicken chain known for its sandwiches, waffle fries and its CEO’s controversial views on gay marriage, debuted its biggest location in October — and it’s in Midtown.

AP PROVIDES ACCESS TO THIS HANDOUT PHOTO TO BE USED SOLELY TO ILLUSTRATE NEWS REPORTING OR COMMENTARY ON THE FACTS OR EVENTS DEPICTED IN THIS IMAGE. THIS IMAGE MAY ONLY BE USED FOR 14 DAYS FROM TIME OF TRANSMISSION; NO ARCHIVING; NO LICENSING; MANDATORY CRUncredited/AP

Olive Garden’s breadstick sandwich.

5. Joe’s Crab Shack tests a no-tipping policy

The Texas-based seafood chain is the first major restaurant group to do away with gratuity for staffers at all locations. To make up for lost tips, the company will increase employee salaries.

6. Olive Garden sells breadstick sandwich

The Italian chain known for its glutenous unlimited salad and breadsticks policy launched breadstick sandwiches in chicken and meatball parm varieties over the summer. The carby connections were also served with, you guessed it, breadsticks.

Customers can now get a malbec with their macchiatos at Starbucks.Barbara Alper/for New York Daily News

Customers can now get a malbec with their macchiatos at Starbucks.

7. Starbucks offers wine, beer and savory small plates.

Customers can now get a Malbec with their macchiatos at Starbucks. The Willamsburg location (154 N. Seventh St.) was the first in New York to sling 10 different wines by the glass for $ 8 to $ 15 along with bottles, craft beer from Brooklyn Brewery and bites like spinach artichoke with pita chips and bacon-wrapped dates available after 4 p.m.

8. Starbucks holiday cup controversy.

When Starbucks reintroduced its signature red cups this month without the usual seasons greetings, people were seeing red. Some began tweeting that the new cups don’t promote Christmas while others purposely told baristas their name is “Merry Christmas” to get it written on their cups in protest of the plain design.

9. Blue Bell Ice Cream returns

Ice Cream lovers were devastated when the Texas-based company was forced to recall cartons in April after its products were linked to 10 listeria cases, including three deaths in Kansas. In August five flavors — Buttered Pecan, Cookies ‘n Cream, Dutch Chocolate, Homemade Vanilla and The Great Divide (half chocolate, half vanilla) — hit shelves once again in Louisiana and Mississippi.

10. Chipotle alters cooking, food preparation in bid to halt illnesses.

The fast-casual Mexican chain is tweaking its cooking methods after an E. coli outbreak that sickened more than 50 people.

Now, onions will be dipped in boiling water to kill germs before they’re chopped. Raw chicken will be marinated in re-sealable plastic bags, rather than in bowls and cilantro will be added to freshly cooked rice to allow the heat to get rid of microbes in the garnish.

jsettembre@nydailynews.com

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