On the face of it, a photo of some lettuce leaves sounds rather unexciting. A photo of some lettuce leaves with someone standing on them, however, adds an unexpected twist. And a photo of lettuce leaves with someone standing on them accompanied by the words, “This is the lettuce you eat at Burger King” is something else altogether, making it an item of considerable interest to Burger King executives, and of course those who like to eat at the fast food restaurant.
Such a photo appeared on image-based bulletin board 4chan this week, and immediately gained widespread attention among web users. The person who took the shot failed to realize that Exif data embedded in the image meant it wouldn’t take long for Net sleuths to track the perpetrators down.
In fact, it took only 12 minutes.
You see, the Exif data contained GPS information. According to a Mashable report, nine minutes after the picture was posted, one quick-off-the-mark 4chan user revealed it was snapped in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. Three minutes later, another user posted the address of the Burger King where the incident occurred.
Fox 8 News soon sniffed out the story and got in touch with Burger King’s head office. The company’s manager of global communications, Denise Wilson, issued the following statement:
“Burger King Corp. has recently been made aware of a photo posted on a social networking site that allegedly shows a Burger King restaurant employee violating the company’s stringent food handling procedures.
Food safety is a top priority at all Burger King restaurants, and the company maintains a zero-tolerance policy against any violations such as the one in question.
The restaurant where this photo was allegedly taken is independently owned and operated by a Burger King franchisee. The franchisee has taken swift action to investigate this matter and has terminated the three employees involved in the incident.”
So that’s Burger King – fast food and fast justice. And hopefully, from now on, cleaner lettuce.
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