Taco Bell’s meat at center of class-action lawsuit

January 27th, 2011 by Staff

www.latimes.com — Taco Bell’s meat is the target of a lawsuit, accused of not containing enough beef to deserve being called “seasoned meat”.

An Alabama law firm has filed a class-action suit against the fast-food company claiming the ground beef (deemed “seasoned beef” by Taco Bell externally, and “taco meat filling” internally) has less than the amount of meat (40%) required to fit the definition as beef.

“You can’t call it beef by definition,” attorney W. Daniel “Dee” Miles III said in regard to the suit his firm has filed. “It’s junk. I wouldn’t eat it.”

Taco Bell released a statement, published on its website, defending its food.

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.

The readers of the Times’ Booster Shots blog, however, are having some interesting discussions about the suit.

“I have no beef with Taco Bell — literally,” wrote a commenter named Gramps.

“There was a time when they used the real thing. I worked there in 1984 and we made the taco meat from raw beef and a dry seasoning mix. We cooked the beans from dry pintos in a giant pressure cooker. We also shredded the lettuce and cheese, sliced the tomatos and olive, and fried the taco shells on site,” Tackerman wrote.

“Tackerman, I remember when Taco Bell used real beef too … Government regulations certainly play a factor, but you can’t tell me they aren’t saving some coin using less beef in their product. But still … 35%? I might have to rethink my occasional forays ‘outside the bun.’ LOL….” wrote dtech001.

Does this suit change the way you look at Taco Bell’s products? Share your thoughts below.

— Tony Pierce

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