The increasing availability of plant-based options on fast food menus is unquestionably a good thing. But you don’t get to call something “vegan” if you’re cooking it on the same grill you’re using for meat! Burger King is learning this lesson with its “Impossible Whopper” as it fights a class action lawsuit filed by a vegan customer who was disturbed to learn that his order was cooked in a bath of animal viscera.
Burger King is arguing that plaintiff Philip Williams should have specifically asked how the Impossible Whopper was cooked before ordering one at an Atlanta drive-through that he claimed was “coated in meat by-products,” Reuters reports.
Burger King said reasonable customers would ask about its cooking methods, and Williams would have known he could request an alternative method had he done even “the smallest amount of investigation” on its website or by reading media reports.
Williams “assumed that an Impossible Whopper would satisfy his own particularly strict form of veganism... solely because he asked a Burger King restaurant employee to ‘hold the mayo,’” Burger King said. “This claim has no basis.”
While not wanting to eat a vegetarian patty cooked on a meat-slicked grill does not constitute “strict form of veganism,” Burger King does disclose on its website that the Impossible Whopper would be cooked in an “open kitchen environment,” though the option of having it cooked in an oven is available upon request.
As a non-vegan with no skin in this game, I gotta say that a veggie burger that soaks up the meat juices of other people’s ordering sins actually sounds like the best of both worlds. Sorry to Williams, though.