Credit: Stock image | Pixabay

BURLINGTON, Vt. — A three-week old snark-backed packaging design for Vermont’s own Black River Meats bacon went viral, causing a national wave of chuckles and a counter-jab from Vermont’s teacher’s union.

“It’s a crazy world we live in. People needed a laugh,” said Sean Buchanan, the vice president of sales and marketing for sustainable & specialty food programs at Reinhart Foodservice, the owner of Black River Meats.

The bacon label Buchanan helped create gives instructions on cooking the thick slab-style pork strips. It states:

“If you really don’t know how to cook bacon, please contact our elected officials and complain about our education system. Every American should know how to cook bacon … seriously.”

Buchanan said that he began getting feedback about the label last week from folks as far away as Illinois and Louisiana.

The label is the subject of a listing on, a website that fact checks urban legends and other information circulating online.

And the Miami Herald called it ‘Best. Packaging. Ever.’ in an Aug. 11 story about people’s disappointment that they couldn’t get their hands on a sample.

The bacon is ubiquitous in Burlington area stores and the company distributes to Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and parts of upstate New York, according to the company’s website.

The label was intended to provoke a laugh, but the Vermont National Education Association could not look the other way.

“It was too irresistible for us,” spokesman for the union Darren Allen said, speaking of both the bacon and jab at teachers.

The union’s Facebook post responding to Black River states:

“Oh, Black River Meats, now public schools are supposed to teach kids how to cook bacon? Your meat is tasty, but really, now, do you have to blame teachers?”

“It hit a nerve. A meat case should be safe for teachers,” Allen said before becoming serious. “There has to be a way to cook bacon without bashing the public education system.”

“We love our teachers. My wife was a teacher,” Buchanan said responding to the union’s social media slam. He reiterated that the label was meant to lighten what might be an otherwise onerous family errand.

Allen said he personally loves Black River bacon and presented a bacon cook off challenge to Buchanan from “a communications guy to a marketing guy.”

“We’ll accept the gauntlet,” Buchanan wrote on Thursday afternoon. “We just want people to smile a little more.”