Here's What Happened After Horse Meat Was Found In Burger King Whoppers

Here's an old saying related to meat: "You don't want to know how the sausage is made." While this phrase originates from some sausage containing "animal parts of which people would rather remain unaware" (via Wiktionary), it's still used to mean "pulling away the facade of something to discover the unpleasant, even nasty process behind it" (via Surface). And although fast-food companies adhere to strict FDA regulations on food safety, which Chron lays out, some rare occurrences reveal unsavory meats in their products.

In December 2021, a woman in Twickenham, England found out that her KFC was made of real chicken — an entire deep-fried chicken head in her box of hot wings (via The Sun). In June 2017, a McDonald's customer discovered a dead worm in a Filet-O-Fish (via WXYZ Detroit). And in one particularly startling case, it was discovered that Burger King once served burgers made with real animal meat, though not the type of animal you'd probably want to eat.

Burger King apologized for serving tainted burgers

In 2013, a food scandal of epic proportions rocked Europe, forcing people across the continent to take a good hard look at what they're eating. The "beef" in some of their shepherd's pies and other foods was not bovine, but equine in nature: in layman's terms, horse meat (via The Guardian). Originating from a food quality investigation in Ireland, much of the controversial meat was traced to Silvercrest, a meat supplier there, which claimed it came from Poland (via NPR). 

According to The Guardian, Burger King admitted the company sold burgers and Whoppers with the horse meat following the break of the scandal. The fast-food giant claimed that Silvercrest had "assured" them that the meat they were sold was not contaminated. Although the authorities vowed there was "no health danger to consumers," Burger King nonetheless stopped working with Silvercrest and moved their operations from Ireland to Germany and Italy. 

In response to the scandal, Diego Beamonte, vice president for global quality at Burger King, apologized to customers. "Our supplier has failed us and in turn we have failed you," he said, according to The Guardian.