The Reason Someone Sued Dunkin' For Its Steak Breakfast Sandwich

For such a dietary staple and something that has been relied on by humans for survival for thousands of years, meat is a surprisingly controversial subject. As well as the environmental impact of eating meat (which, as reported by Greenpeace, is responsible for issues including climate change and deforestation), simpler issues include kitchen debates about which meats to buy and how to cook them.

Steak is a particular problem. Not only is red meat linked with adverse health effects (via Harvard Health Publishing), but it is the subject of a constant debate of how to cook it correctly — rare, medium-rare, or well-done. Plus, what cut is best, what's the deal with Kobe beef, etc.

However, steak has a far greater existential crisis to contend with: What exactly is it? The predicament has been caused by a lawsuit filed against Dunkin' Donuts by Queens, New York man Chufen Chen, who launched a claim that the company's Angus steak-and-egg breakfast sandwiches are packed with beef rather than steak (via CNN). 

According to the claim, Dunkin's sandwiches failed to meet the required standards for steak

Leaving aside the strangeness of why anyone would want to fill their gut with fried meat for breakfast, CNN reports that Chufen Chen decided to sue Dunkin' for damages because they believed the meat used in the steak sandwiches was beef patty combined with "fillers and binders" rather than steak, breaching regulations.

Unsurprisingly, Dunkin' Donuts chose to fight the lawsuit in court. Despite their determined arguments, Chen's claim against the company was ultimately unsuccessful. Bloomberg Law reports that a court threw out Chen's lawsuit, deciding instead that Dunkin' had no case to answer because the steak sandwiches weren't "deceptive or misleading to a reasonable consumer."

If Chen was angered by the quality of Dunkin' Donuts' meat let's hope they're not heading over to Europe anytime soon. Beef products in several countries, including Ireland, the U.K., and Germany, have all previously been scrutinized for containing high quantities of horse meat (via The Guardian).