Plant-based burgers have been the newest trend this year, as multiple restaurants and fast-food joints have recently added some form of vegetarian-friendly burger to their menu. However, one restaurant is currently being penalized by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for using the word 'burger' and cheese' to describe a vegan plant-based burger. The CFIA is giving one Ontario restaurant two weeks to change the names on their menu before facing penalties.
Grow Your Roots Cafe, a vegan restaurant located in Kanata, Ontario, received a visit from the CFIA two weeks ago after the agency received a complaint from a customer. According to CBC, a customer complained that the 'cheddar cheese' that they had ordered was misleading, as it was actually not cheese, but a vegan alternative.
The CFIA is now penalizing the restaurant due to the way the restaurant has labeled its menu items. According to the CFIA, some items on the menu were misleading and went against Ontario food regulations. The CFIA gave the restaurant two weeks to change the term 'cheese' to something less misleading to its customers.
Melanie Baudens, the owner of Grow Your Roots Cafe told CBC that the CFIA suggested changing her menu to 'mozzarella style' or 'cheese alternative'.
However, Baundens is currently refusing to make the name change as she feels it will hurt her business. She states, "I immediately said no to that mainly because I don't like the word alternative. I think it makes the item sound less appetizing than what they really are. I would hate to turn someone away just because of what we call it."
Baundens also states that she isn't the only one, and many restaurants are also facing backlash for calling plant-based patties 'burgers'.
Yet, the CFIA stand by their regulations, stating "foods sold in Canada must have a common name, and all labeling must be truthful and not misleading."
However, the CFIA isn't the only one that thinks plant-based products need to be labeled differently. Earlier this year, two Canadian meat producers filed official complaints against Beyond Meat for using the word 'meat' in their product.
At the moment, Beyond Meat currently uses the phrase 'plant-based meat', which meat companies believe should be removed as it is misleading to the consumers.