A woman in Bournemouth, England, became distraught after eating what she thought was a plant-based nugget but turned out to be chicken.
“When I ate it and [realized], it made me feel sick,” Lianna Hutchins told the Bournemouth Daily Echo. “I was nearly in tears.”
Hutchins told the news outlet that she has been a lifelong vegetarian, and three years ago she even became a vegan, meaning she avoids eggs and dairy products as well as meat.
She said she had ordered the vegan nuggets as part of a family order at a Burger King on Oct. 14 and was immediately suspicious when the meal began.
“I noticed the smell and texture was definitely different to a vegan nugget,” she told the Daily Echo. “I chewed on the nugget, and I thought to myself this doesn’t taste vegan.”
“I couldn’t believe it; with Natasha’s Law you’d think everybody would be trained and be aware of food allergies.”
Natasha’s Law, or the U.K. Food Information Amendment, requires pre-packaged food to be labeled with potential allergens.
The law, which went into effect in October of 2021, is named after Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, a young woman who, in 2016, thought she was buying an allergen-free sandwich at Heathrow Airport, but after she boarded a flight and began to eat it, she had a reaction and later died.
It was later discovered that the sandwich she had eaten contained sesame seeds, which were not listed on the package label.
Hutchins told the Daily Echo that she has health issues, “so I don’t want to be putting meat in my body. ” She complained that her family meal had been “ruined” because she had to leave the gathering to go upstairs and telephone the restaurant.
To top things off, she said “the manager was very dismissive.”
“He put me on the phone with the man who packed my order. He told me to go to the head office,” she told the Daily Echo.
Eventually, Hutchins said, she got a refund for the chicken nuggets, but not for the rest of the meal, even though Hutchins said, “I couldn’t eat the rest of the meal, I felt sick.”
She told the news outlet that her parents had experienced a similar event back in the 1990s and that they had received “a lot of compensation for it.”
A representative for the fast-food chain told the Daily Echo that “Burger King U.K. acknowledges the customer’s concern and [apologizes] for the impact this has caused.
“After further investigation, we believe all the appropriate steps were taken, and there were no signs of cross-contamination.
“We will be reaching out to the customer to provide assistance and will be working to ensure all necessary measures and staff training are reinforced.”
The Burger King website said its vegan nuggets contain “soy, wheat, celery, gluten and sulphur dioxide and may contain mustard and sesame.” The fast-food chain said the product is certified by the Vegan Society.
The website explained that Burger King kitchens “have strict controls in place to reduce the risk of cross-contact such as separate storage areas, utensils and cleaning equipment for products containing allergens.”
However, they added a disclaimer that “in common with other catering operations, our kitchens are fast-paced and open environments, hence we cannot guarantee that any product is entirely free from any allergen. Customers with food allergies and intolerances should be aware of this information.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.