A popular Wellington burger van has caused a stir on social media, posting an impassioned rant on Facebook after a customer got in touch to say their son may have gotten food poisoning.


On Wednesday, Mike Duffy publicly posted the message to the Ekim Burger Facebook page, in which the woman had said the burger her son ate was the only thing he had eaten differently from the rest of the family that day, so "assumed" it must of been the burger that made him sick.

A screenshot of the message sent by a customer to Ekim Burgers.
A screenshot of the message sent by a customer to Ekim Burgers.

Today, in a long post to the Ekim Burgers' page, Mr Duffy hit back, and said something as serious as a potential food poisoning outbreak was a "harsh accusation".


"Almost 20 years in this f*****g industry and never had a person who ate what I cook get sick from it."

He also spoke about a variety of customers, he claimed, did not understand the food industry.

"Plenty of pissed up office jocks pulling the "i got food poisoning" call after going home way to drunk from a staff Christmas party with someone who they shouldn't have [sic]."Loads of middle class no idea house wives [sic] completely out of their league complaining that their wine glass should have more in it."

The post, which has been liked over 400 times and shared over 70 times, has attracted comments some in support for Mr Duffy, while others have hit back.

Ekim Burgers' Facebook rant.
Ekim Burgers' Facebook rant.

One said: "Mike just put into words what most of us in the hospitality industry think every day."

Another was less impressed: "I love your burgers and your business, but this isn't the way to act, man. She sent you a private message, she wasn't writing a public review. My friends are talking about never eating at your business again. Not a good result."

Speaking today, Mr Duffy said he had enough of the way people in the hospitality industry were treated.

He said he was sick of people complaining about things they "didn't understand".


"Every restaurateur on the planet has had someone come to them and say I've got food poisoning. No you didn't. You got pissed, you drunk too much, and you got a hangover and you threw up in the morning."

Mr Duffy was adamant that the woman's son had not become sick from his food.

"You've said I've given your kid food poisoning, I've publicly said no I haven't.

"The reality of it is, when you say to someone I'm not complaining, but - you're actually complaining, which I pointed out in my rebuttal to her statement.

"When you make an assumption, you don't know anything, you're assuming, which I pointed out in my statement.

"If there is a thousand meals in a day and one child gets 'food poisoning' it's not food poisoning from the food, it's food poisoning from your hands."

Mr Duffy encouraged people to think about what they were doing, and what it was that they were actually complaining about and why.

"If you are trying to complain so you feel special and important, you're not going to be any more special and important than the other seven and a half billion of us just because you are complaining. And you're not."

He admitted the post was "a little bit" of an angry rant, but said he had "had enough of these kinds of complaints"

"I want to see [people] treat the service industry with more respect. It's not just mine, it's all of them."

Ekim Burgers was originally parked at Lyall Bay Beach, before relocating to its Cuba Street site last year.

Mr Duffy said he was not concerned that his comments would turn away customers, as every week was busier than the week before.

Mr Duffy said as far as he was aware he was within his rights to share the customer's message on Facebook, because once it was sent to him, it was his to do with what he liked.

Wellington City Council spokesman Richard MacLean said they would not take action against the business unless they received a complaint, which had not happened.

The council's environmental health department reported the caravan was a "pretty well run food outlet", Mr MacLean said.

A spokesman for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner said Mr Duffy could have breached the woman's privacy by publishing the complaint she had posted to him.

The woman would need to made a complaint in order for the office to delve into the case and make a determination if her privacy had been breached.

"She should consider making a complaint with us," he said.

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Customer sends a polite private message firing up Ekim Burgers who has now taken the rant public. Whose side are you on?

Posted by Herald Life on Wednesday, April 29, 2015