*Warning: If you are about to eat or have a sensitive stomach, you might want to wait on reading this post.* Burger King, or BK, is one of the world’s most famous fast food restaurants. Perhaps its status is what makes it so vulnerable to controversy. Let’s begin by looking at its signature menu item created by co-founder James McLamore in 1957, the Whopper Sandwich. Inside, you’ll find a flame grilled quarter pound beef patty, a sesame bun, lettuce, tomato, pickles, sliced onion, and a few condiments. Don’t like any of these things? You can ‘Have it your way’ by customizing your order, and you can always count on the quality and taste to match every time. Or can you? Last year, a series of media sites reported that despite their claim to use 100% beef in their patties, Burger King admitted to adding an unsavory ingredient in their patties as fillers: horsemeat. **For the love of the Whopper, we’re telling you now that these reports are twisted.** Yes, horse DNA was indeed found in some beef products by a supplier that Burger King worked with. Once news broke out about the contamination, the fast food company dropped them. Continue reading to find out how such a scandalous rumor made waves across the Web.Created in 1957, the Whopper is one of the most classic burgers out there.
Here’s how it’s evolved over time to match food trends. Today, low-carb diets are growing in popularity, so there are more and more people ordering the burger without the bun.
That’s right. There is such thing as a whopper with black buns, and they were available in Japan (Kuro Diamond and Kuro Pearl) to promote Pirates of the Caribbean and in the U.S. around Halloween.
A regular Whopper sandwich is about 260 grams and 630 calories. In the ingredients section, it specifically reads ‘100% USDA inspected Ground Beef (Fire-Grilled)’ for WHOPPER® PATTIES and HAMBURGER PATTIES.
In late 2012, equine, or horse, DNA was discovered in some of the beef patties manufactured by the Silvercrest plant in Ireland for Tesco. Retailers informed of this withdrew their products, announcing shortages rather than serving the contaminated items. An investigation of Silvercrest concluded that there was no evidence showing that the company knowingly purchased the meat this way.
Investigators weren’t focused on Burger King nor did they test their products but media attention honed in. Upon learning about the contamination in other places, the fast food company discontinued their relations with Silvercrest and looked to alternative suppliers in Germany and Italy.
Please note that a House of Commons Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs report did not blame UK or Irish producers. According to their findings, there existed a complex network of criminals that mislabeled and beef products. It was an overwhelming case of fraud.
Unfortunately, during this study there were also traces of pork found in beef and beef products, which raised concerns for those who choose not to eat pork for personal reasons or reasons of faith. While the presence of pork is more explainable than horsemeat, as pork was also being processed at the Silvercrest plant, it didn’t make it any more acceptable.
Silvercrest is one of the largest supplies for burgers and it was shut down for deep cleaning after findings of equine DNA. To show how seriously they took this case, the parent company also appointed a new management team.
According to an article by Telegraph in 2013, Burger King conducted an independent test of a second batch of burgers produced by Silvercrest. They did not find pork or horse DNA.
Despite this news and immediate actions taken, last year several media sites reported that BK openly admitted to selling patties filled with horse DNA. This was 3 years after the contamination. Snopes has also debunked this myth.
Discovering horsemeat in products labeled ‘100% beef’ is scary. It proves that even when our food is labeled, we’re not sure what we’re really getting. While reports have been mitigated, consumers have grown increasingly concerned about other unknown or even unsafe products that companies use in manufacturing and preparing our food. The best thing to do is do your research and cook your own food, or eat at businesses that already do that for you. A handful of us are already doing that but the reality is that it can be very costly. Hopefully we can move in a direction where healthy food is more accessible to all.