A woman who has been a vegetarian since she was born was left feeling ‘sick’ after she ate a meat hotdog when she went to IKEA.
22-year-old Fern Jackson has never consumed meat since birth, and after she took a bite of the hotdog she ordered at a Swedish store, she realized right away that something wasn’t right.
She called the manager over and asked if the hotdog she had was not for vegetarian, and the manager confirmed she had accidentally received a pork hotdog.
The pork meal left Fern feeling sick for many days.
Speaking about the incident, Fern told Devon Live:
“I ordered a vegetarian hot dog from the deli area and when it arrived it looked just like the picture that was shown next to it on the menu board.
I put some ketchup on and took a bite, but as soon as I did I knew something was not quite right.
I told my grandma it didn’t taste right and we called the manager over to have a look.”
“She told me it definitely wasn’t a vegetarian hot dog.
They look completely different. A meat hot dog looks like a normal Frankfurter but the vegetarian one is clearly lots of vegetables like peas and sweetcorn compressed together.”
Even though IKEA apologized for what happened, Fern said that it wasn’t good enough and she wanted reassurance such incidents wouldn’t happen ever again.
Fern sent an email to IKEA’s main office and the message was also forwarded to the store’s manager, who explained all the employees are re-doing their allergen training.
“I was so angry – it’s the first time meat has passed between my lips in 22 years.
I have never eaten meat, fish or even gelatin my entire life. My mum was even vegetarian when she was pregnant with me. Sorry just doesn’t cut it I’m afraid.”
She also added:
“If it were a Muslim and they had served them pork, that wouldn’t be acceptable – so why is it any different for me?
I sent an email to IKEA’s head office about it and they didn’t get back to me.
They did forward the email on to the manager at Exeter I had already spoken to, and she said all the staff are re-doing their allergen training, but to me that is just not good enough.
I want to know that they’re changing the picture of the vegetarian hot dog on the menu so people don’t get confused. If it’s happened to me, it’s bound to have happened to others elsewhere.”
Fern also explained that her body is not used to meat and she had a bad reaction that lasted for two days. She was also mentally shaken as she never liked the idea of consuming food that was once living.
In response to the situation, country IKEA food manager Lorena Lourido said:
“It is of the highest importance that ingredients in the food sold in our Restaurant, Swedish Food Market and Bistro are clearly communicated.
We understand that this incident would have been extremely distressing for the customer and we have been in direct contact with them to apologise.
We take this matter very seriously and we have reviewed our co-worker training on allergens and dietary preferences as a result.”
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