The passionate, the chivalrous, the gracious nation is all set and excited to welcome the Horse Giant oops I mean Burger King… The chain is expected to open sometime in mid-2014 yet the young Facebook Twitter fanatics are going heads over heals to taste the proclaimed Whoppers while I was one of them till I got this assignment to do for my advertising class to share a launch plan for BK in Pakistan.
While doing my research, I came across this recent Burger King scandal about reportedly using Horsemeat in its burgers. I thought it may be a mere rumor to manipulate and bad mouth the fast food giant but to my dismay, the news was absolutely true. Burger King admitted after continuous denial that it has actually been selling UK customers both burgers and Whoppers that contain horsemeat. This admission came just after The Guardian reports that Burger King Representatives offered a round of ‘absolute assurances’ to customers that it did not ever use horsemeat in its products.
A series of tests done on the burger products now reveal that Burger King has been issuing completely phony statements, with burgers made for the fast food chain from the Irish company Silvercrest containing measurable levels of horsemeat.
Here the more concerning part is how Burger King, being one of the leading fast food companies dealt with the entire situation. It was originally admitted by Burger King that its burgers did contain mystery meat (that at the time was identified as horsemeat) just hours after claiming that their UK burgers were pure. The exact statement confirming the horsemeat in the burgers from the Burger King rep, or what was thought to be horsemeat at this point, was:
“Four samples recently taken from the Silvercrest plant have shown the presence of very small trace levels of equine DNA… we have established that Silvercrest used a small percentage of beef imported from a non-approved supplier in Poland. This is a clear violation of our specifications, and we have terminated our relationship with them.”
As it appears from the Burger King that either they have no idea what’s in their own food, or in a more sinister scenario, they are least bothered about what their consumer think and are instead interested in building up their profits without causing a stir (or law suits for the matter per se). The report originally appeared in The Guardian, which developed as the night went on.
Another report in The Independent, however, asserts that the meat may in fact consist of donkey meat – a prospect that I am not certainly sure of but is more or equally as concerning. The background to this entire situation is the recent law change in Romania banning the use of animal transportation including horse-drawn carts. As a result of this ban, the struggling citizens were forced to send their horses to be slaughter house for the fraudulent sale of horsemeat that has permeated the European beef market. But what about the donkeys? Well, it turns out that they also used donkeys to pull their carts as well.
This is where it gets to be an entirely new story. Millions of animals were culled in order to produce meat, which then leaked into the beef supply, and now no one knows what some of the meats produced by some European facilities really are.
Whether or not you find it disturbing that you may be eating horse or donkey in your burger, it also comes down to a matter of knowing what’s in your food. It comes as no surprise to many of us who are aware of just how mysterious fast food is as a whole, but the existence of horse or donkey meat inside Burger King burgers means that consumers really don’t know what they’re putting into their mouths when they purchase these items. This, regardless of what you think about eating these animals, is of serious concern and risk. By SAMINA BATOOL