A group of vegans are suing Burger King, and it’s all because of their “meatless” Impossible Burger.
While the burger itself is meatless, there lies a bigger issue that Burger King may not have disclosed to their faithful vegan customers: the Impossible burgers are cooked on the same grill as their meaty counterparts, meaning residue could contaminate the vegan patties.
Phillip Williams of Atlanta filed a class-action lawsuit, claiming that the Burger King did not disclose that the vegan alternative could potentially be at risk of having meat residue, and thus would not have paid a premium price for the specialty sandwich.
The lawsuit claims that Burger King doesn’t specifically disclose that its vegan burgers could be cross-contaminated with animal by-products, something that has left vegan groups furious.
Williams also points to several complaints made on social media that also point to the same issue. Williams is seeking to be compensated from Burger King, and will also seek to end the same-grill cooking of the two burgers in all restaurants.
Burger King, owned by the Brazilian Restaurant Brands International Inc, declined to comment to Reuters, saying it does not discuss pending litigation.
Burger King’s website points out that the Impossible Burger is “100% Whopper, 0% Beef,” but further states that “guests looking for a meat-free option, a non-broiler method of preparation is available upon request.”
Impossible Foods Inc, the company responsible for the vast majority of the meatless-burger craze, said in a recent interview that their products were designed for “meat eaters” who were looking for ways to reduce their animal-based food consumption, and not necessarily for vegans and vegetarians.
“For people who are strictly vegan, there is a microwave prep procedure that they’re welcome to ask for in any store,” said Dana Worth, Impossible Foods’ head of sales.
Restaurant Brands International has its headquarters in Toronto, and also owns popular donut and coffee chain Tim Hortons.