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Vegan man sues Burger King in Florida, says Impossible Whopper was ‘contaminated’ with meat

In a lawsuit filed in Florida’s Southern District, Phillip Williams is suing Burger King for $5 million.
This July 31, 2019, file photo shows an Impossible Whopper burger at a Burger King restaurant in Alameda, Calif. Restaurant Brands International (QSR), operator of Burger King and Tim Hortons restaurant chains, on Monday, Oct. 28, reported third-quarter earnings of $201 million. [BEN MARGOT | AP]
Published Nov. 19

A Georgia man is suing Burger King after he said he was “duped” into eating an Impossible Whopper “contaminated with meat by-product,” according to a lawsuit filed in the Southern District of Florida.

Phillip Williams, who is a vegan, filed the class-action suit Monday and is seeking $5 million in damages and wants the fast-food chain to be more transparent about how it prepares its meatless Impossible patties.

Burger King, which is headquartered in Miami, began offering the plant-based, meat-free Impossible patties with its signature Whopper sandwich in August.

On its website, Burger King advertises the sandwich as “100% Whopper. 0% Beef.” It does not say the sandwiches are vegan and says it is made with the non-vegan mayonnaise option.

A disclaimer under the description adds that “for guests looking for a meat-free option, a non-broiler method of preparation is available upon request.”

RELATED STORY: We tried Burger King’s meatless Impossible Whopper so you don’t have to

According to the lawsuit, Williams went to an Atlanta Burger King restaurant in August and ordered an Impossible Whopper from the drive-thru. He asked for no mayo.

“Having no knowledge about how Burger King actually prepares the Impossible Whopper, plaintiff decided to visit a local Burger King in Atlanta, Georgia to try the new product,” the suit says, adding he “decided to eat the Impossible Whopper believing it was a meat-free option. However, plaintiff had been duped by Burger King’s deceptive practices into eating a meat-free Whopper Patty that was in fact covered in meat by-product.”

The suit says Williams suffered monetary loss in the cost of the sandwich and was misled because there was no signage at the drive-thru stating it would be cooked on the same grill used for beef. However, as the suit states, there are “numerous consumer complaints posted online” from people complaining the meat-free option is cooked next to meat, despite a completely meat-free option being offered as well."

Williams has requested a jury trial.

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