Burger King will be unveiling a new sandwich next Tuesday, May 21, just in time for summer. The new BK Rib sandwich will rival McDonald’s McRib in a rivalry of fire-grilled franchise versus fast-food history.
The new BK Rib will be a boneless sandwich, like McDonald’s McRib, and will feature a tangy sauce; it will also come with sweet bread and butter pickles. The sandwich will be sold nationally beginning May 21 after a successful test run in Louisiana. Consumers can expect to pay $5.59 for a meal that includes fries and a drink, or $3.49 for just the sandwich.
So, how does will the new BK Rib compare to McDonald’s McRib? McDonald’s fans are loyal, so it may be challenging for the newcomer to beat the boneless McRib with its’ tart pickles, slivered onions, and hoagie style bun. It will be a summer 2013 showdown worthy of any rib cook off.
In addition to their new rib sandwich, Burger King is adding other southern style menu items. They are bringing back some blasts from the past, the Carolina BBQ Whopper and Chicken and Memphis Pulled Pork sandwiches will be reappearing. Sweet potato fries will also show up as part of this season’s limited edition fast food menu at the burger giant.
The announcement comes on the heels of a broadcast this week that earlier studies regarding public health warnings limiting their consumption of sodium. Fast food eateries were under public scrutiny for the high levels of sodium in some of their most popular items. At one point, Americans were advised to limit their sodium levels to 1,500 milligrams per day, or around a half a teaspoon of salt.
According to the study, the limited amount of sodium was supposed to prevent strokes and heart attacks for at risk population groups; this included those older than 50, African Americans, and those with high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, or diabetes – approximately half of all Americans.
The American Heart Association pushed for all Americans to reduce their sodium intake to those lower levels.
However, a new expert group commissioned by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by the Institute of Medicine has found new evidence since that first report was published in 2005. They believe there is no reason to go below 2,300 milligrams per day.
“‘As you go below the 2,300 mark, there is an absence of data in terms of benefit and there begin to be suggestions in subgroup populations about potential harms,’ said Dr. Brian L. Strom, chairman of the committee and a professor of public health at the University of Pennsylvania. He explained that the possible harms included increased rates of heart attacks and an increased risk of death.” (nytimes.com)
The expert committee was asked not to give an unambiguous amount of sodium intake per day, and therefore did not make any recommendations for daily intake. Dr. Strom commented that people should be conservative, but also opined that data on the health effects of sodium were inconsistent and the committee were unable to determine what the upper limit should be.
Therefore, the McRib with 980 milligrams of sodium would have been almost two-thirds of your daily allowance of sodium under the old survey warnings. Now, you can order a medium order of fries for another 270 milligrams, and a Medium POWERAde Mountain Blast additional 105 milligrams of sodium for a total of 1358 of sodium, which would have been almost an entire day’s worth of sodium consumption prior to the new findings.
Still, before eating with impunity, there are still calories and fat as well as the sodium you consume the rest of the day. So enjoy the McRib and the new BK Rib responsibly.
The American Heart Association is still asserting their position that sodium levels should be kept to a minimum.
By Dawn Cranfield
Senior Correspondent/Product Specialist