The BBC is reporting this morning that traces of horsemeat have now been found in food sold at Taco Bell locations in the United Kingdom:
Fast food chain Taco Bell finds traces of #horsemeat in products on sale in UK, spokesman says
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) March 1, 2013
Before we move on, let’s get the obvious joke out of the way. Horsemeat at Taco Bell? Sounds like an upgrade to the quality of food they typically serve.
There are only three Taco Bell restaurants in the UK (it seems Brits don’t think outside the bun as regularly as North Americans) and they are all reportedly “clean” now.
“Once we learned of this issue, we immediately voluntarily tested our product for our three Taco Bell restaurants in the UK,” a company spokesperson said in an official statement.
“Based on that testing, we learned ingredients supplied to us from one supplier in Europe tested positive for horsemeat. We immediately withdrew it from sale, and discontinued purchase of that meat and contacted the Food Standards Agency with this information. We apologise to our customers and take this matter very seriously as food quality is our highest priority.”
In North America, Taco Bell has repeatedly had to shoot down rumors that the meat it sells is substandard — though it’s never had to face issues related to horsemeat. In early 2011, the chain took out full-page ads in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today, as well as online, in an attempt to quash rumors that its beef filling wasn’t actually beef: