Beware of "veggie food" claims

TIMESLIVE.CO.ZA | Teneshia Naidoo | 11/22/09

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Editor's note: If you eat as unprocessed as possible, and prepare food at home, how and with what animal your food may be prepared won't be an issue.

Vegetarians, beware! That's the warning issued this week after a ruling that resulted in fast-food outlet Wimpy removing a vegetarian burger from its menu.

Last week the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) of New Zealand found that Wimpy's claim that the burger was 100% vegetarian was untrue.

It followed a complaint by a consumer, Heather Pansegrouw, who said the chain's claim was false, as it fried onions on the same grill as the meat.

The ASA ruled that Wimpy should alter its recipe so that the burger was 100% vegetarian.

In its response, Wimpy said that after the complaint, it had removed the vegetarian burger, as well as the 100% vegetarian logo, from its menu.

The ASA accepted the undertaking on condition that the vegetarian claim was not used in future.

This week the SA Hindu Maha Sabha warned vegetarians to be wary of claims by fast-food outlets if the food was prepared on the same surfaces as meat dishes.

The religious body's Kovilan Ramsamy said food outlets should not mislead in advertising vegetarian items and should cook them without meat contamination.

"I think the consumer must be fully aware. If it says that it is vegetarian, then it should be prepared in a vegetarian manner. The same goes for beef at a butchery. Beef and mutton should be kept separately. Vegetarian meals should be prepared to suit requirements," said Ramsamy.

Read the whole story here.


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