Vegan sues Burger King for R74m over meat residue in plant-based burger
Miami - A vegan man is accusing Burger King of cooking its Impossible Whopper alongside meat - and he's suing the fast-food chain for misleading customers.
The class-action lawsuit was filed in Miami federal court.
Phillip Williams, who lives in Georgia, said he ordered the plant-based Whopper without mayonnaise at a Burger King drive-thru and wasn't told the burger would be cooked on the "same grill" as chicken and beef. Burger King uses a rotating broiler to cook its patties.
He also said he didn't see any signs notifying customers about the preparation.
Williams, who does not eat or drink animal products, said he wouldn't have ordered the burger if he had known it was "contaminated" and "cooked in a manner that covers it in meat by-products," according to the lawsuit.
The Miami-based fast-food chain advertises the meat-free patty on its website as being "100 [per cent] Whopper, 0 [per cent] beef." The Whopper is topped with tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles, white onions and a sesame seed bun.
The vegetarian burger is considered vegan without the mayo. The website also states that guests looking for a meat-free option can request a "non-broiler" method of preparation.
The suit accuses Burger King of false advertising and benefiting monetarily from a vegan option that is not vegan.
A Burger King spokeswoman told the Miami Herald that the company does not discuss pending litigation.
Impossible Foods Inc, which manufactures the plant-based burger, says the product was not designed for vegans or vegetarians but is geared for meat eaters who want to cut back on animal protein, according to NBC News.
Williams' lawyer did not respond to the Miami Herald's request for comment on the available cooking options.
The lawsuit is seeking at least 5 million dollars (R74 million) in damages for customers who purchased Burger King's Impossible Whopper and for the company to "plainly disclose" that the meat-free patty is prepared on the "same grill" as the meat.