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  • Whitbread on Random Corporations That Have Sold You Beyond Questionable Meat

    (#8) Whitbread

    • Hospitality, Leisure

    In January 2017, UK restaurant chain Whitbread was caught in a questionable meat scandal when it was caught selling a dish called beef lasagne that contained pork. The mislabeling was disconcerting for Jews and Muslims, whose religion forbids eating pork. 

    Whitbread representatives claim the menu item was supposed to read "meat lasange" after change in the recipe included the addition of 4.5% pork, more than a third of the total meat contained in the dish. Representatives insisted this was an honest mistake. The company has since changed the label, but a company whistleblower stated he had alerted management as to the problem months prior to it going public. 

  • Burger King on Random Corporations That Have Sold You Beyond Questionable Meat

    (#6) Burger King

    • Restaurant

    McDonald's less popular younger brother (but with kitsch appeal), Burger King has faced plenty of scrutiny over the years. In 2012, it was discovered Silvercrest Foods, an Irish meat supplier contracted with Burger King (and numerous other companies), was selling beef laced with horse meat. Burger King became embroiled in the scandal, though testing on its facilities and products show the chain never sold beef with horse in it (though the plant showed traces of horse DNA). 

    After the discovery, Burger King switched meat suppliers, and issued a statement declaring that, during transition, some items on their menu may not be available. This swift reaction, and the results of beef testing on BK products on facilities, resulted in a major win for the company and its public image. 

  • Tesco PLC on Random Corporations That Have Sold You Beyond Questionable Meat

    (#7) Tesco PLC

    • Retail, Supermarkets and Other Grocery (except Convenience) Stores

    We-do-it-all retailer Tesco began as a small grocery chain, and has since expanded to include banking services, gas stations, and telecommunications. In 2013, the chain came under fire when several of its burgers where found to contain horse meat, which is illegal in the UK.

    At first, the scandal was mostly speculation. Tesco representatives refuted the claim that its frozen Everyday Value Beef Burgers contained a significant amount of horse meat. However, DNA tests showed some packages of the brand's microwave Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese contained 60% horse meat. The company reacted quickly, pulling the product and others from its shelves, but the damage was already done. Tesco has encountered its fair share of scandals over the years, but the brand lives on. 

  • KFC on Random Corporations That Have Sold You Beyond Questionable Meat

    (#3) KFC

    • Restaurant, Fast food

    Kentucky Fried Chicken, more commonly called KFC after rebranding efforts, was once accused of shifting away from its original name because it doesn't use chicken mean, but rather "genetically manipulated organisms." Snopes shut this rumor down fast, but the fried chicken brand wasn't off the hook.

    KFC uses Asian meat supplier Shanghai Husi Food Co. for its restaurants in China. A 2014 report revealed some meat from this distributor was handled poorly, and even dropped on the ground. Though KFC suffered the brunt of the scandal due to its huge presence in China, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut were also affected (all three are owned by Yum! Brands). 

  • Wendy's on Random Corporations That Have Sold You Beyond Questionable Meat

    (#9) Wendy's

    • Restaurant, Fast food

    In June 2014, the Los Angeles Times ran an article entitled "Is there wood pulp in your burger or taco?," in which it was explained how Wendy's, Taco Bell, McDonald's, and Carl's Junoir use trick semantics with ingredients lists. According to the article, cellulose, a common ingredient in products from all those restaurants, is a food additive made of tiny pieces of wood pulp and plant fiber. Burger King uses it in buns, tortillas, tacos, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, and pancakes, among other items, and at Wendy's, you can find it in shakes, cheese shreds and cheese crumbles. 

    McDonald's loves cellulose the most, using it in shredded cheese, fish fillet patty, biscuit, sausage and scrambled egg mix, smoothie base, syrup, ice cream, barbecue sauce, sweet 'n' sour sauce and honey mustard sauce. According to the FDA, cellulose is safe for consumption in certain instances, but generally cannot be digested by humans, and is therefore does your system no good.  

  • Chipotle Mexican Grill on Random Corporations That Have Sold You Beyond Questionable Meat

    (#4) Chipotle Mexican Grill

    • Restaurant

    Few restaurants take promises as seriously as Chipotle. The Mexican food chain is unique for several reasons: It has a very simple menu that's completely customizable, there's no drive-thru option, and, it's... actually sort of healthy? Chipotle prides itself on its farm-fresh ingredients, which are locally sourced when possible. The chain has also claimed to only work with the best, most discerning meat distributors.

    The world learned what this meant in 2015, when Chipotle abruptly stopped serving carnitas. Company representatives explained they discovered their pork supplier was treating pigs inhumanely, or not to Chipotle standards. The company took the moral high ground, and didn't serve carnitas again until months later, after supposedly having found a new, better supplier. 

    Just when the restaurant thought it was in the clear, Chipotle served up two fresh E. coli outbreaks. As per the Centers for Disease Control, the problem was cleared up quickly, and Chipotle went to great lengths to assure customers it would never happen again. Still, business suffered at the time. 

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About This Tool

Fast food is the fastest growing industry nowadays, and it is also the industry that has suffered the most criticism and caused the most disputes. Regarding food safety issues, many world-renowned fast food chain brands have caused controversy and received penalties in their development history. For example, McDonald’s, as the world’s largest fast food chain brand, used ammonia-treated beef, and announced in 2012 that would stop using the pink fake meat in the United States.

The random tool lists 9 well-known international fast food chain brands that have sold expired meat or fake meat, or at least questionable meat. Nowadays, more people pay attention to food safety issues, and relevant food safety supervision departments are becoming more stringent.

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