Bad taste – British caterer apologizes for ‘Anne Frankfurter’ menu item

Viva Veggie Van owner said that using the name of the teen Holocaust victim was just a “play on words,” but social media backlash was harsh.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The owner of a small British catering business has apologized for offering an “Anne Frankfurter” menu item after a client cancelled an event when notified of the dish, The Jewish Chronicle (JC) reported Tuesday.

Maria Finn of Viva Veggie Van, a vegan caterer, told the veteran Jewish newspaper that she had no intention of insulting anyone when she incorporated the name of arguably the world’s most famous Holocaust victim into her plant-based hotdog.

“I can’t believe what’s happened,” she said. “It was just playing with words, something to stand out, this business is me and my daughter. We never meant to upset anyone, I’m not a controversial person.”

Finn thought it would be a suitable name, she said, because “Anne Frank was from Germany, from Frankfurt, and she didn’t eat meat.”

Social media users were unforgiving after seeing a picture of the menu that listed the Anne Frankfurter that is “topped with raw onion, relish, ketchup and mustard” at £7 ($8.70).

“Really despicable that people are so willing to make light of the tragedy of Anne Frank,” Twitter user Jacob Alexander wrote.

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“’The Anne Frankfurter’ – really? Vile and senseless from whoever Viva Veggie Van are, and poor from the Birmingham Brewing Company for giving a platform to them.”

After sports journalist Nathan Judah tweeted his disbelief over the name and said the brewery should “think twice” about using the caterer, the company publicly reached out to him.

“Hi @NathanJudah thank you for bringing this to out [sic] attention,” they tweeted back. “Naively we hadn’t seen the menus before they were published. We are investigating this as a matter of urgency as it does not match our values.”

They then decided to cancel their order for their upcoming weekend event.

“A menu was shared last night by a 3rd party vendor who was booked to trade at our brewery tap room this weekend,” the brewery said in a statement. “We did not have sight of the menu before it was published and agree that the name of one of the dishes is totally inappropriate. The trader will not be trading with us.”

Finn bewailed the cancellation as a “massive” financial hit to her two-person business as she had ordered the food already “and “there’s no other festivals this weekend for us to sell at.”

But Karen Pollock, who heads the London-based Holocaust Educational Trust, hailed the brewery’s decision.

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“Anne Frank was a young Jewish girl forced into hiding for two years before being deported to Auschwitz and then Bergen-Belsen where she was murdered,” she told The JC in a statement. “To use the name of a Holocaust victim as a marketing ploy will never be appropriate.”