Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Lawsuit Filed Over Taco Bell’s Meat

Taco Bell's meat is under fire as an Alabama law firm claims Taco Bell's "beef" isn't really beef.

A Taco Bell

Photo: ferrett111 (flickr)

The current lawsuit is just one of many regarding Taco Bells standard of food.

A law firm in Alabama has a beef with Taco Bell’s “beef”. They claim that Taco Bell’s taco meat can’t legally be advertised as beef.

The legal complaint states that “rather than beef, these food items are actually made with a substance known as ‘taco meat filling.’”

A History Of Problems

The current lawsuit is just one of many regarding Taco Bells’ standard of food.

The restaurant first opened its doors in 1962 and since then has had numerous controversies and lawsuit. In November 2006, 22 customers in three New Jersey restaurants were sickened by E. coli after eating Taco Bell food. And in August 2010, at least 155 people in 21 states became ill from salmonella-contaminated food.

Where’s The Beef

According to the Taco Bell website their seasoned ground beef contains:

  • Beef
  • Water
  • Seasoning [Isolated Oat Product, Salt, Chili Pepper, Onion Powder, Tomato Powder, Oats (Wheat), Soy Lecithin, Sugar, Spices, Maltodextrin, Soybean Oil (Anti-dusting Agent), Garlic Powder, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Citric Acid, Caramel Color, Cocoa Powder (Processed With Alkali), Silicon Dioxide, Natural Flavors, Yeast, Modified Corn Starch, Natural Smoke Flavor]
  • Salt
  • Sodium Phosphates

Dee Miles, an attorney involved in the class-action suit, told CBS News, “According to the tests that we have taken, the taco meat filling is about 35 percent meat.” The USDA constitutes beef, as the “flesh of animal” and must consist of at least 40 percent meat.

On January 25, Taco Bell released an official statement from its President and Chief Concept Officer, Greg Creed:

At Taco Bell, we buy our beef from the same trusted brands you find in the supermarket, like Tyson Foods. We start with 100 percent USDA-inspected beef. Then we simmer it in our proprietary blend of seasonings and spices to give our seasoned beef its signature Taco Bell taste and texture. We are proud of the quality of our beef and identify all the seasoning and spice ingredients on our website. Unfortunately, the lawyers in this case elected to sue first and ask questions later — and got their “facts” absolutely wrong. We plan to take legal action for the false statements being made about our food.

Read More:

  • Taco Bell Has Beef with Claims about Its Beef (CBS News)
  • Taco Bell Meat: Chain Sued Over 36% Beef Content In ‘Taco Meat Filling’ (Huffington Post)
Katie Dawson

Katie Dawson is a sophomore at IU majoring in journalism and Spanish. Currently she lives in Bloomington, IN but is originally from Indianapolis. She enjoys cooking, eating and sometimes exercising.

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