Well it appears what many patrons of Taco Bell have suspected for awhile might be landing Taco Bell in some hot water, or at least into a courtroom. The law firms “Blood Hurst & O’Reardon” & “Beasley Allen” have filed a class action lawsuit against Taco Bell’s parent company Yum Brands(the evil geniuses behind such fast food staples as Pizza Hut & KFC) claiming that Taco Bell’s ground “beef” may barely be beef at all.
The lawsuit claims that the ground beef filling may actually only consist of 35% actual beef. This flies in the face of the USDA policy book guidelines which state that for something to be called ground beef it must contain less than 30% beef fat & not be adulterated with any kind of extenders. The USDA does allow for a product to be labeled as “taco meat filling” if it has at least 40% beef, which Taco Bell supposedly fails to meet as well.What exactly is being added to the beef to extend it? Things like “Isolated Oat Product”, food coloring, yeast(with msg), soy lecithin(food emulsifier) & an anti-caking agent. When I make home made taco meat I can make it with a handful of ingredients: Meat(turkey or beef), chili powder, cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, a little water. “Isolated Oat Product” is the second largest ingredient in their filling and they try to pass it off as a seasoning, it’s actually an extender. When was that last time someone looked to “oats” to add flavor to something? A big issue Taco Bell may face when trying to defend itself is the fact that internally they refer to their ground beef as “Taco Meat Filling”, it’s even labeled as such on the boxes they ship to their franchises.
Taco Bell hasn’t taken this sitting down. They took out a full page ad in a couple major newspapers exclaiming their excitement about how the lawsuit will let them tout their excellent “beef”. Not sure “excitement” is the first thing on anyones mind when they get notified of a pending lawsuit, but whatever spins their boat I guess.