Hot dog chain wants gestation-stall-free pork

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Wienerschnitzel, the world’s largest hot dog chain, is the latest quick-serve food company that has committed to phasing out gestation-sow stalls from its supply chain. The Galardi Group, Irvine, Calif., which is the franchisor of Wienerschnitzel, has cited 2022 as the stall-free deadline.

There are 350 Wienerschnitzel locations in California and a dozen other mostly Western states. Approximately 10 percent of the units are company owned, with the rest handled through franchises. The chain serves more than 120 million hot dogs annually.

“The move toward a gestation crate-free environment is consistent with Wienerschnitzel’s commitment to provide the highest-quality food; and we support the efforts of pork suppliers to ultimately eliminate the use of gestation crates,” stated Alan Cline, the company’s director of purchasing and product development. “Moving forward, we will be requesting from our pork suppliers their plans to phase out the use of gestation crates from their supply chains by 2022.”

Wienerschnitzel’s announcement was released on Tuesday by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

“By eliminating gestation crates from its supply chain, Wienerschnitzel is taking an important step in improving the lives of animals,” stated Kristie Middleton, HSUS outreach manager. “Consumers care about how farm animals are treated, and cramming them in cages where they can barely move for virtually their entire lives is simply out-of-step with those values.”

Beyond hot dogs, Wienerschnitzel’s menu includes, hamburgers, bacon, corn dogs, pastrami and sausages. The Galardi Group also owns Tastee Freez, a chain of ice cream stands, and The Original Hamburger Stand. Main competitors, McDonald’s, Nathan’s Famous, Dairy Queen, In-N-Out Burgers

McDonald’s and Kraft (Oscar Mayer) are among the companies that have set deadlines for pork suppliers to end the use of gestation-sow stalls. The deadlines that companies are setting for the pork production sector to accomplish this task varies from 2015 to 2022.

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iowa  |  September, 05, 2012 at 09:28 AM

Isn't it amazing that HSUS has become the communication director for all these companies - that they put out the press releases, not the companies themselves. Hmmmmm? As I've stated before, there is no uproar in this country on this issue, only at HSUS and its few vegan members. History notes that we tried the pen thing years ago and it did not work so went to stalls. If they knew anything at all about sows in stalls, they are content, safe and can be given medical treatment much more easily. And no mention from them on safety of the workers. Our industry knows how to raise safe, plentiful and economical supplies for consumers in accepted industry practices. All of the nonsense will just cut back supply and raise the price of food to consumers.

kansas  |  September, 05, 2012 at 09:33 AM

You know what would be useful and interesting to find out about the falling dominoes in food service? What exactly, and really, motivates their decisions to kneel before the threats of blackmailers in HSUS? Not the pablum they pass out to the press, but the insider discussions in marketing and public relations. As with other cases, isn't it likely that Producer Organizations could investigate this and acquire "unidentified" comments and testimony regarding what pressure was applied, and how it affected decisions? There's ALWAYS a weak link, or whistle-blower type who'll share their secrets anonymously, yes? Just do it!


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