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- Wendy’s does not use horsemeat in its hamburgers. The social media rumor is 5 years old, and has been debunked before. The government has not said it found horsemeat in the company’s food.
Where’s the beef? Not at Wendy’s, according to a social media rumor.
A Facebook user promised to "never again" eat at the fast food chain, posting an image of what appeared to be a news article that Wendy’s had been exposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for using horsemeat.
The image showed a horse being spun into meat, and included a quote supposedly from Wendy’s chief executive director: "We only use about 60% beef, the rest is made of meat fillers mostly equine (Horse) meat," the quote said. "Using this type of meat is a cheaper expense for us, allowing us to competitively price our food while been (sic) profitable at the same time. What we are doing is not illegal or unhealthy. The FDA has approved the contents of the meat."
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) That’s because there are a few things that are suspicious about this post.
The article gives only the first name of Wendy’s CEO: "Boris." The current CEO’s name is Todd Penegor.
Also, the doctored horse-and-meat-grinder photo has been shared before. A reverse image search on Tineye showed it was used as early as 2016, appearing with either a Wendy’s or Burger King logo. Both fast food companies have said they have never used horsemeat, Snopes reported in 2015. It was also reported that the claim was traced back to News Buzz Daily, a satirical news website.
The claim is as untrue now as then. A spokesperson from Ketchum, the public relations company representing Wendy’s, said the Facebook claim is false.
"Wendy’s does not now, nor have they ever, used horsemeat in their products," they said.
The FDA and Agriculture Department did not respond to PolitiFact about this claim. But a web search showed they have made no announcements about Wendy’s using horsemeat.
We rate this claim Pants on Fire!
Facebook post, June 30, 2022
Tineye reverse image search results, accessed July 7, 2022
Snopes, "Wendy's Admits to Using Horse and Rat Meat in Their Rich and Meaty Chili!" Feb. 19, 2015
Truth or Fiction, Wendy’s Uses Horse Meat in Chili and Burgers-Fiction! Nov. 24, 2015
Email interview with Ketchum spokesperson, July 7, 2022
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