You may want to think twice before you “think outside the bun” and hit up Taco Bell the next time you’re hungry. A class action lawsuit has been filed that alleges that Taco Bell is guilty of false advertising. Specifically, the suit claims that the substance Taco Bell advertises as “beef” is not actually made of meat.
There have long been rumors that Taco Bell’s ground beef isn’t exactly filet mignon. A popular urban legend says that Taco Bell isn’t legally allowed to be served in many cities because its meat is too low quality (some people claim it’s “grade D,” a designation that doesn’t actually exist). This simply isn’t true. Taco Bell, as far as anyone knows, meets all government standards.
The recent suit that was filed makes a different claim. It says that Taco Bell’s meat is made mostly of “extenders.” In other words, it’s less meat and more products like wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodrextrin, anti-dusting agent, autolyzed yeast extract, modified corn starch and sodium phosphate. Some of these ingredients add flavor to the meat, but they are mainly there to increase the volume (and cut down on costs for Taco Bell).
It’s normal for other ingredients to be added to meat. If you think your McDonald’s hamburger patty is 100% prime cuts of beef, you’re probably kidding yourself. The key issue here is just how much of Taco Bell’s meat is actually meat.
It will be interesting to see how this one gets resolved. No matter what happens, don’t expect Taco Bell to become a five-star restaurant.
TACO BELL STATEMENT REGARDING CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT
“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.”