It may be no surprise that Business Insider‘s countdown of the top 10 biggest public relations gaffes of the year includes six committed by the food industry. In some cases, the fallout was just symptomatic of what appeared to be an isolated, albeit serious, issue. Still, Huffington Post says this is more evidence that the industry needs to step up its PR game. We wouldn’t disagree, though we’re not holding out for any miraculous improvement in 2013.

At any rate, here are those six egregious mishaps:

  • KitchenAid. The company discovered that it chose the wrong person to handle its social media when Twitter followers cried foul over a “tasteless joke” about President Obama’s grandmother.
  • Burger King. An employee posted a photo of himself standing in two containers of iceberg lettuce with the caption, “This is the lettuce you eat at Burger King,” on 4Chan.
  • Taco Bell. An Indiana employee tweeted a photo of himself urinating on an order of nachos.
  • Chick-Fil-A. COO Dan Cathy shared his controversial stance against gay marriage on “The Ken Coleman Show.” We all know what happened next.
  • Beef. ABC News reported about the processed beef product known as “pink slime,” which was added as a filler to ground beef and processed meats.
  • McDonald’s. McDonald’s began a Twitter campaign with the hashtag #McDStories that quickly went awry when people started sharing horror stories about the chain. This one will surely be a future case study for social media classes.

[via Business InsiderHuffington Post]