[UPDATED, W/IN-N-OUT STATEMENT--WON'T STAND FOR COW HATERS] Claim: In-N-Out Buys Its Cheese From Cow Abusers

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Updated, with new information at the bottom...

ORIGINAL POST, OCT. 10, 11 A.M. If there is one fast-food company that gets universally positive coverage, it's In-N-Out--hell, even anti-fast-food crusader Eric Schlosser praised their practices at the end of his epic Fast Food Nation (and how cool that the book begins and ends in Orange County, from the depths of what Carl's Jr. has become to the promise of Irvine-based In-n-Out?). Hell, I even wonder if they have a crisis management department.

That's why it'll be interesting to see how the public and the company will react to claims today from animal-rights group Mercy for Animals that In-N-Out buys its cheese from a supplier whose workers abuses its cows.

The supplier in question is Bettencourt Dairies, which is all over the news this morning because three of its former workers face misdemeanor criminal charges for abusing cows, actions caught on tape by an undercover Mercy for Animals worker. The Associated Press doesn't report on the In-N-Out connection, but Mercy for Animals just sent out a news release making the claim, and urging the company "to end its supplier relationship with Bettencourt Dairies and adopt new animal welfare guidelines, including zero tolerance for kicking, punching, and shocking cows, requiring suppliers to prohibit painful and unnecessary mutilations of animals, requiring suppliers to provide a safe, clean, and sanitary environment for cattle, and more."

"The secret ingredient in In-N-Out Burger's cheese is horrific animal abuse," Mercy for Animals executive director Nathan Runkle says in the press release. "Due to its complete lack of meaningful animal welfare standards, In-N-Out Burger has allowed a culture of cruelty to fester at the factory farms supplying cheese for In-N-Out's burgers. No socially responsible corporation should support dairy operations that beat, kick, mutilate, confine, and neglect animals. In-N-Out must take immediate actions to prevent further abuse at its suppliers."

Gives a new meaning to Animal Style...

UPDATE, 12 P.M. In-N-Out is as shocked as anyone about cow abuse, but stress they don't buy directly from Bettencourt Dairies. Full statement from chief operating officer Mark Taylor::
 
The treatment of the Idaho dairy cows in the video is shocking and completely unacceptable. In-N-Out Burger never has and never will condone such inhumane treatment of animals.

In-N-Out Burger does not buy its cheese products directly from dairy farms and has no contractual relationship with this dairy. We buy our cheese from a major international cheese supplier headquartered in Wisconsin.

The dairy depicted in the video is one of numerous dairies that sell milk to a bulk cheese manufacturer which then sells the bulk cheese to multiple cheese suppliers for further processing. In-N-Out Burger buys its cheese from one of these suppliers.

Here at In-N-Out Burger, animal welfare is extremely important to us. We require every one of our suppliers to meet or exceed all state and federal requirements, including those dealing with animal welfare. We also ensure adherence to our strict contractual requirements by conducting periodic, unannounced inspections of our suppliers. Furthermore, we expect our suppliers to demand the same from their own suppliers.

We will take appropriate action, up to and including termination of a supplier if we determine that any business in our chain of supply has failed to meet our requirements.

It is also our understanding that law enforcement authorities have investigated the incidents depicted in the video and that some individuals may have been arrested and charged.

For more than sixty years, we have provided our customers with only the highest quality burgers, fries and drinks. That is a pledge we will always keep.

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27 comments
rsmken
rsmken

Sad to say but GA and OC Weekly staff is getting more and more like the idiots of the "Watchdog" at the Reg. in that more often than not they are publishing one-sided (usually liberal) stories.

In-N-Out has nothing to do with this diary. No different than the cheese at Trader Joe's  (or Whole Foods) that buy from  probably the same cheese makers as well.

You've gone downhill Weekly.... Take a look in the mirror and you'll see that while you may walk on the other side of the street (so to say) your no different than the Reg now!

Madeline
Madeline

That cheese is probably made with genetically modified milk. There is a chemical in that called Insulin Growth Factor 1 that accelerates breast and prostate cancer.

The cattle are probably fed Roundup Ready feed and have residues of that chemical in their meat.

If you ever plan on having children, or if you want to educate yourself about personal health, I suggest you go to Youtube and watch the 17 minute trailer for a video called "Genetic Roulette Movie".

Young people eat this kind of stuff and they have a long life of possible health or debilitating diseases ahead of them depending on what they choose to eat now.

Let's just label genetically modified food like we do calories and fat content. Vote Yes on Prop 37.

 

www.carighttoknow.org

Laura Leeb
Laura Leeb

Good luck with that all those corporate franchise types are the same and don't give a crap about how cows are treated.

klooo
klooo

Did anyone from OC Weekly try to contact In n Out before this original story was published?

Dwayne Takeda
Dwayne Takeda

The cows are killed for the meat, and they're worried about the cheese?

Daniel Sharp
Daniel Sharp

Really? I for one, can't tell the difference between abused cheese and not abused cheese...

Francis Pacaja
Francis Pacaja

Don't get me wrong I love animals! But nothing can come between me and my deliciously prepared Double Double with extra spread.

Gil Martinez
Gil Martinez

Double double ,grilled & fresh onions , mustard instead please .

Michael Rizzle
Michael Rizzle

interesting....now get me a double double,light spread,with grilled onions...

Paul David
Paul David

If I could eat my awesome meat burger and not kill the cow I would but, I would argue that cheese made from abused cow probably taste better anyway

King LÅndfill Lear
King LÅndfill Lear

Those abused cows make some damn good cheese to eat on my slaughtered cow burger.

bill_essex
bill_essex

I'd like to see the cow-huggers work one day with bovines. Cows don't really react much to touchy, feely attempts to get them to do what they don't want to do.

Lenny Taylor
Lenny Taylor

mercy for animals should go after the company that abuses the animals. They should also go after Michael Vick who killed dogs..

Michael Moon
Michael Moon

Well, who doesn't abuse a cow now and then? How else do you get a hamburger?

e0003
e0003

Moooving story! We vote with our wallets!

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

 @rsmken We've ALWAYS published one-sided "liberal" stories—where have you been all these years?

gottaknow247
gottaknow247

@Madeline Do you really want to be mislead by Prop 37's labelling standards? i encourage you to read the whole proposition. If you did, you would know that food sold at restaurants or snack bars would be exempt from labelling. This includes your example above for both the beef and the cheese. Even if your premise about the Roundup Ready feed and the hormones is correct, the public will never be notified about it because of Prop 37. I'm not opposed to responsible labelling of all foods. I just think Prop 37 is poorly written. http://www.noprop37.com/facts/

rsmken
rsmken

 @GustavoArellano  @rsmken I see you're interviewed on America's Test Kitchen Radio - That's great! I've been a fan of Cooks Illustrated for years and have been listening to their podcast since it began. Haven't listened to this episode yet (just downloaded it) but I'm looking forward to it!

-KEN

klooo
klooo

@GustavoArellano Sure, isn't it a good idea to get both sides of a story before you publish it?

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