Ecstasy pill found in child's Sonic burger meal

In Taylor, Texas an 11-year-old girl helpfully unwrapped her four-year-old brother's Sonic fast food burger and found what she thought was a piece of candy inside. Fortunately, she asked her parents before popping into her mouth. They took the "candy" to the police who determined it was actually an Ecstasy pill. Insert your own "happy meal" joke here. From KXAN:

Officers took the restaurant's manager, Tanisha Dancer, into custody for a felony theft warrant from Guadalupe County. When she got to the Williamson County Jail, police said a female correctional officer searched Dancer and found three ecstasy pills hidden in her clothing...

Taylor police said they notified the Texas Department of Health, the restaurant's local owner and corporate Sonic. Police said the Sonic director of operations told them that they have now fired Dancer.

Two other employees were also arrested -- one for marijuana possession and the other for outstanding warrants.

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Way too many burger chains still pump antibiotics into their meat

Using antibiotics to keep livestock healthy until they're chopped up and smooshed into burgers and chicken nuggets is not a great idea: we're already facing a bevy of antibiotic-resistant bugs hellbent on killing us. Throwing the drugs down our throat, in meat or pill-form, is only going to make things worse. Doctors are coming to understand this and, in many cases, are prescribing antibiotics as a last resort. The folks that produce meat for burger joint supply chains? Not so much. By pumping their livestock full of antibiotics, whether the animals are sick or not, is a great way to ensure that the the animals stay healthy until they're sent to the slaughter. Despite the dangers posed by overuse of these wonder drugs, a lot of burger joints are fine with this:

From CNN:

Twenty-five of the top US burger chains were graded on their antibiotic policies in a collaborative report released Wednesday. Only two chains received As, Shake Shack and BurgerFi; the other 23 got a D minus or F.

Wendy's was given a D minus for a policy that the authors described as "while far from comprehensive ... a positive step forward." According to the company's website, Wendy's will get about 15% of its beef from producers that have committed to a 20% reduction in antibiotics used in their livestock and whose cattle's antibiotic use can be tracked and reduced.

For their efforts, as weaksauce as they are, Wendy's scored the only D issued by the study. McDonald's, Burger King, Sonic, Hardee's, Whataburger, Carls Jr., Culver's, Steak n' Shake, In n' Out, White Castle, Smashburger, Checkers, Krystal, Freddy's, Habit, Rally's, Fuddruckers, A&W (in the U.S., anyway) Jack's and FarmerBoys all earned an F rating. Read the rest

Beatboxing with a McDonald's cup, the impressive encore

In 2015, Parker Kane's performance of dubstep on a McDonald's cup went viral (video below). On Sunday, Kane returned to the same McDonald's in Rexburg, Idaho for the above encore.

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Pickle juice slushies are coming to Sonic Drive-In this summer

This June, fast food chain Sonic Drive-In will rollout a pickle juice snow cone slush, according to Food & Wine (who's already taste-tested the new beverage):

We tasted the drink at Sonic’s headquarters in Oklahoma City, and it’s surprisingly delicious... Sweet and tangy, the bright brine compensates for the over-savoriness you might have been worried about. You won’t understand why, but you’ll keep going back for more sips, likely until it’s all gone. Our only gripe is that the slush is a bit too sweet, as if overcorrecting for the acidity, but maybe this is what has to happen for America to acclimate to—and embrace—pickle-flavored soft drink.

...No one can stop you for asking for a squirt of pickle juice in your shake, or on your burger, or on whatever your sick heart desires.

There are 3584 Sonic locations in the United States, should you wish to try it.

Sonic Will Roll Out Pickle Juice Slushes This Summer

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KFC chicken shortage blamed on DHL

DHL has been shipping and losing packages for close to 50 years. Read the rest

Jack in the Box to offer $4.20 late night 'Munchie Meals' to Californians

I could be wrong, but I believe Jack in the Box's "Munchie Meals" have always been geared to the late-night cravings of cannabis users. It sounds like this new "Merry Munchie Meal" is being launched to unequivocally tie the soon-to-be legalization of recreational pot in California to the brand.

SFGate reports:

As California prepares for legal recreational pot on Jan. 1, the fast-food chain is partnering with a digital media company backed by rapper Snoop Dogg on a new "munchie" meal aimed at cannabis enthusiasts. While marijuana's connection to fast food is well-established, Jack in the Box will become the first national chain to explicitly embrace the drug.

The "Merry Munchie Meal," which will be available at three California locations for a week in January for $4.20, features two tacos, french fries, onion rings, five mini churros, three chicken strips and a small drink. The price isn't random: The number 420 is used as a code by potheads.

image via Merry Jane

Thanks, Chris! Read the rest

Taco Bell clothing line inches us a step closer to Idiocracy

For the price of a few trays of Taco Bell, these Taco Bell Forever 21 clothes can make you look like a character from Idiocracy: Read the rest

Burger King in Russia claims Pennywise promotes McDonald's, wants "It" banned

Burger King Russia has filed a complaint with the country's anti-monopoly agency to have the film It banned because, they say, Pennywise the killer clown is free marketing for McDonald's. From Newsweek:

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Mona Lisa painted with burger grease

In 2009, Arby's commissioned Phil Hansen to paint the Mona Lisa using grease from its fast food competitors. The piece is called "Mona Greasa."

(via Weird Universe)

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Burger King launches cryptocurrency in Russia

Burger King launched its own cryptocurrency, WhopperCoin, in Russian markets. Managed by blockchain startup Waves, WhopperCoin is essentially a blockchain-based loyalty rewards program. A customer receives one WhopperCoin for each ruble they spend on whoppers. A free Whopper can be had for 1,700 WhopperCoins. From the BBC News:

Ivan Shestov, head of external communications at Burger King Russia, said the scheme turned the Whopper into an "investment vehicle"...

"I don't imagine McDonald's will be quick to allow someone to pay for a Big Mac with their whoppercoins," (said Dr Garrick Hileman, research fellow at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance). "Burger King's competitors are more likely to accept an independent crypto-currency like bitcoin."

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Fast food furniture in the form of hot dogs and burgers

Italian design firm Seletti and Amsterdam’s Studio Job created this cartoony fast food furniture line for the 2017 Maison & Objet tradeshow in Paris next month. They should have designed a chez lounge in the shape of a french fry and called it "the couch potato." (via Laughing Squid)

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Fast food furniture

Here are two great tastes that taste great together: Fast food and furniture.

European design firm Studio Job teamed up with Italian home goods and furniture house Seletti to create furniture fashioned after fast food.

Designboom writes:

at maison et objet 2017 in paris, seletti and studio job are bringing fast food to the fair. a hot dog and hamburger — archetypal images of american pop-culture — are transformed into actual furnishings, giving rise to the ‘UN_LIMITED EDITIONS’ collection. the debut of the series marks the italian brand’s introduction to the world of upholstered furniture, amalgamating studio job’s irreverent attitude and penchant for playfulness, with seletti’s accessible affordability.

Yes, I would like fries (lamp? pillow? rug?) with that.

images by Loek Blonk via designboom Read the rest

Some (slightly) healthier choices at fast food restaurants

Mind Over Munch’s Alyssia offers a guide to some not-completely-terrible-for-you food choices at fast food restaurants like McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, and Dunkin’ Donuts. She also has a guide to vegan fast food options that aren’t just salads:

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Bigot hotter than a grease fire after seeing McDonald's rainbow pride fry boxes

A McDonald's franchisee in Washington DC is celebrating Pride Month with fry boxes festooned with rainbows. That didn't sit well with televangelist Joshua Feuerstein: Read the rest

Meet Flippy, the burger-flipping robot

Miso Robotics' Flippy is a "kitchen assistant" robot that can grill, flip, prep, fry, and plate food.

“We focus on using AI and automation to solve the high pain points in restaurants and food prep," says Flippy CEO David Zito. "That’s the dull, dirty and dangerous work around the grill, the fryer, and other prep work like chopping onions. The idea is to help restaurants improve food quality and safety without requiring a major kitchen redesign.”

And what of those millions of people who flip burgers to make ends meet?

“Tasting food and creating recipes will always be the purview of a chef," says Flippy CEO David Zito. "And restaurants are gathering places where we go to interact with each other. Humans will always play a very critical role in the hospitality side of the business given the social aspects of food. We just don’t know what the new roles will be yet in the industry.”

(TechCrunch via Laughing Squid)

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Taco Bell now has a wedding chapel in Las Vegas

Taco Bell will soon offer fully-catered weddings at its Las Vegas flagship restaurant. Key selling points of this elegant offering are that this Taco Bell Cantina location has a DJ booth, pours booze, and has big digital displays. The $600 wedding package includes:

• A ceremony in the chapel inside the restaurant with an ordained officiant within as little as four hours

• Private area for a reception inside the restaurant with up to 15 of your closest family and friends

• Custom merchandise, including a sauce packet garter and bow tie, “Just Married” t-shirts for the bride and groom, Taco Bell branded champagne flutes and, of course, a Taco 12 Pack filled with tacos and a Cinnabon Delights cake for dessert

• A Sauce Packet bouquet is also available for the bride to use during the ceremony

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Why is KFC a Christmas tradition in Japan?

Around Christmas, many KFC restaurants in Japan see 10 times their average daily sales. Customers order their KFC special Christmas dinner weeks in advance or wait in line for hours to score a Kentucky Christmas dinner package including chicken, side dishes, cake, and even wine. WTF??! Marketing, that's what. From the BBC:

According to KFC Japan spokeswoman Motoichi Nakatani, it started thanks to Takeshi Okawara, the manager of the first KFC in the country. Shortly after it opened in 1970, Okawara woke up at midnight and jotted down an idea that came to him in a dream: a “party barrel” to be sold on Christmas.

Okawara dreamed up the idea after overhearing a couple of foreigners in his store talk about how they missed having turkey for Christmas, according to Nakatani. Okawara hoped a Christmas dinner of fried chicken could be a fine substitute, and so he began marketing his Party Barrel as a way to celebrate the holiday.

In 1974, KFC took the marketing plan national, calling it Kurisumasu ni wa Kentakkii, or Kentucky for Christmas. It took off quickly, and so did the Harvard-educated Okawara, who climbed through the company ranks and served as president and CEO of Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan from 1984 to 2002.

The Party Barrel for Christmas became almost immediately a national phenomenon, says Joonas Rokka, associate professor of marketing at Emlyon Business School in France. He has studied the KFC Christmas in Japan as a model promotions campaign.

“It filled a void,” Rokka says.

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