The allegation that Burger King has been supplying consumers with burgers and whoppers contaminated with horsemeat is one of the most discussed issues in various media outlets. When the scandal erupted, Burger King remained adamant that its products were safe for consumption. However, the analysis of the content of burgers and whoppers in various outlets of the fast-food chain in the United Kingdom revealed the Company’s unethical conduct.
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Also, police investigations exposed a slaughterhouse owner at the center of the horsemeat scandal who slaughtered animals that horse owners considered unfit to race. Investigations confirmed that the slaughterhouse provided the meat Silvercrest used to produce Burger King’s products (Poulter, 2013).
The horse DNA in Burger King’s products raised doubts on the ability to verify the safety of the Company’s products considering that a different company, Silvercrest, processed the burgers and whoppers. The fact that Silvercrest processed contaminated burgers for other fast food chains such as Tesco and Co-op clearly illustrates that the problem at Burger King began in the processing stage of its products.
The lack of Burger King’s engagement in the processing of its products made the Company vulnerable to the impacts of unorthodox practices by Silvercrest. In this regard, Burger King had limited control over the quality of products obtained from the company responsible for processing its products.
Burger King overlooked the fact that Silvercrest had the independence to operate within a scope outside Burger king’s policies. Thus, the Company altered the recommended ingredients to increase its profits without considering the impact the unethical practices would have on fast food chains.
The protests regarding the horsemeat contamination had significant effects on Burger King’s reputation since consumers had entrusted the fast-food chain with the responsibility of ensuring the safety of customers who bought the Company’s burgers and whoppers. As soon as the Company learned that its products contained horse DNA, it withdrew the remarks that Burger King’s products did not contain portions of horsemeat.
The Company’s decision to accept the flaw in its products depicts the truthfulness in its vision to maintain customers’ trust in Burger King’s products. The Burger King management provided customers with details regarding the horsemeat scandal and thus mitigated the impacts on its reputation and future endeavors.
Although Burger King was keen on protecting its reputation, Silvercrest sought to maximize profits by compromising on the quality of the products it processed. The fact that unethical conduct by one company can have multiple effects on other companies raises concerns on the need for enterprises such as Burger King to adopt systems, procedures, and policies that grant them control over the activities of all parties involved in the production.
Burger King decided to transfer the processing of its products to another party to increase the Company’s economies of scale. However, the horsemeat scandal illustrates that Burger King overlooked the threats on its reputation were Silvercrest to default its code of conduct.
The damage on Burger King’s reputation was significant considering that the fast-food chain is a multinational company. Burger King’s decision to withdraw its products from the UK stores once it learned about the contamination was crucial in preventing further damages to the Company’s reputation. Burger King’s reputation would have suffered adversely had the Company remained silent on the horsemeat issue.
Poulter, S. (2013). Burger King admits selling beef burgers and Whoppers containing horsemeat | Mail Online. Home | Mail Online. Web.