Patt Morrison for August 22, 2012

In-N-Out Burger immediately gets out of slaughterhouse controversy

Aaron Friedman/Flickr

In-N-Out has asserted that treating cattle unethically is not what their ‘hamburger is all about’.

The Irvine based fast-food chain immediately ceased using Central Valley Meat Co. as a supplier after the privately owned burger chain learned that the slaughterhouse was shut down and under investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“It’s their way of saying look we have a standard. We think you all respect our standard, it’s why you’ve loved us as much as you have. We’re gonna show you that this standard is for your benefit,” said Sasha Strauss, Managing Director for Innovation Protocol.

The department closed down the Hanford site Monday after viewing an undercover video provided by animal rights group Compassion Over Killing.

Warning: This video contains graphic content:

The footage shows cows being physically abused and electrically shocked. Central Valley Meat Co. President Brian Coelho said in a statement that his company was fully cooperating with federal investigators.

In-N-Out also released their own statement saying, “As soon as we became aware of the allegations regarding Central Valley Meat Company and their handling of cattle, we immediately severed our supplier relationship with them. In-N-Out Burger would never condone the inhumane treatment of animals and all of our suppliers must agree to abide by our strict standards for the humane treatment of cattle.”

In-N-Out Burger Statement Regarding Central Valley Meat Company

Central Valley Meat Co. was one of five suppliers In-N-Out used and the company supplied about 20 percent of the meat used in the burger chain.

The question of how much In-N-Out knew before this video was released is still up for discussion. But most feel that the chain’s reaction is the way the industry is going today.

“It’s really quite fashionable these days if you’re in the food industry to say we’re all about treating animals right,” said Tiffany Hsu, business reporter for the Los Angeles Times.

WEIGH IN

Do you think that In-N-Out made a smart choice by immediately dropping the slaughterhouse as a supplier even before the federal investigation has been concluded? Could fast-food chain Chic-Fil-A have benefited from completely distancing itself from controversial matters? What is the best way for prominent corporations to handle publicly controversial issues?

Guests:

Tiffany Hsu, business reporter for the Los Angeles Times

Sasha Strauss, Managing Director, Innovative Protocol, a brand strategy consulting firm


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