Lifelong vegetarian 'mentally shaken' after taking a bite of a hot dog
A trip to IKEA is a rite of passage for anyone trying to give this whole 'adulting' thing a go. Whether you're genuinely trying to find yourself a desk, a bed, or some state-of-the-art storage solutions, or you're just wandering through to sit in the display living rooms and imagine what life could be like, IKEA makes furniture shopping fun.
But before you think I'm going to keep rambling on about the Swedish furniture and homewares company like they're sponsoring me to (I wish), let me digress to share a story about someone who did not have such a chummy time at IKEA.
A woman has been left "mentally shaken" after she took a bite from a hot dog that was accidentally given to her instead of the vegetarian one she ordered. She was visiting the Exeter branch of IKEA with her family when things took a turn.
"I ordered a vegetarian hot dog from the deli area and when it arrived it looked just like the picture that was shown next to it on the menu board," Fern Jackson told Devon Live. "I put some ketchup on and took a bite, but as soon as I did I knew something was not quite right."
The 22-year-old claims never to have eaten meat in her life, and knew immediately after the first bite that something was off.
"I told my grandma it didn’t taste right and we called the manager over to have a look," she recalled. She said when the manager took a look at the food, they confirmed that she had been given a pork hot dog. Fern said it left her feeling "sick for days".
"She told me it definitely wasn’t a vegetarian hot dog," she said. "They look completely different. A meat hot dog looks like a normal Frankfurter but the vegetarian one is clearly lots of vegetables like peas and sweetcorn compressed together."
"I was so angry – it’s the first time meat has passed between my lips in 22 years.
"I have never eaten meat, fish or even gelatin my entire life. My mum was even vegetarian when she was pregnant with me."
Fern was understandably very upset, and was angered even further when all she got was an apology from IKEA. She was later told by the manager of the store she visited that all staff would be getting a refresher course on their allergen training.
"Sorry just doesn’t cut it I’m afraid," she said, before describing how unsettling it had been for her in the following days.
"My body isn’t used to meat so I think I had a bad reaction. It lasted for about two days.
"I think it left me pretty mentally shaken as well, I have never liked the idea of eating something that was once living and that has really played on my mind.
"I’m very angry at the whole situation, it’s been a really bad experience for me."
She claims she doesn't want compensation, and if she is given money as an apologetic gesture from the furniture store, she would be donating it to an animal charity.