Posted by Natalie Jimenez at CBSNews.com
We’ve all heard the urban tales about fast food giants making cheap meals out of unsavory ingredients like meal worms and headless chickens.
Well, now, Taco Bell is under the spotlight for allegedly questionable practices. An Alabama law firm has filed a class-action lawsuit against the chain saying the stuff they call “seasoned beef” is only about 36 percent meat.
The firm tested the “meat mixture” and found that it contained ingredients like water, wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodrextrin, modified corn starch and an anti-dusting agent.
According to the complaint, Taco Bell does not meet the minimum requirements set forth by the USDA to label its product as “beef” and uses false advertising.
Here is the official reply from Taco Bell:
STATEMENT REGARDING CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT – January 26, 2011
“The lawsuit is bogus and filled with completely inaccurate facts. Our beef is 100% USDA inspected, just like the quality beef you would buy in a supermarket and prepare in your home. It then is slow-cooked and simmered with proprietary seasonings and spices to provide Taco Bell’s signature taste and texture. Our seasoned beef recipe contains 88% quality USDA-inspected beef and 12% seasonings, spices, water and other ingredients that provide taste, texture and moisture. The lawyers got their facts wrong. We take this attack on our quality very seriously and plan to take legal action against them for making false statements about our products. There is no basis in fact or reality for this suit and we will vigorously defend the quality of our products from frivolous and misleading claims such as this.”
What is in Taco Bell’s recipe for seasoned beef?
“We’re cooking with a proprietary recipe to give our seasoned beef flavor and texture, just like you would with any recipe you cook at home.
For example, when you make chili, meatloaf or meatballs, you add your own recipe of seasoning and spices to give the beef flavor and texture, otherwise, it would taste just like unseasoned ground beef. We do the same thing with our recipe for seasoned beef.
Our recipe for seasoned beef includes ingredients you’d find in your home or in the supermarket aisle today:
• 88% USDA-inspected quality beef
• 3-5% water for moisture
• 3-5% spices (including salt, chili pepper, onion powder, tomato powder, sugar, garlic powder, cocoa powder and a proprietary blend of Mexican spices and natural flavors).
• 3-5% oats, starch, sugar, yeast, citric acid, and other ingredients that contribute to the quality of our product.
Our seasoned beef contains no “extenders” to add volume, as some might use. For more information about our ingredients go to http://www.tacobell.com.”
President and Chief Concept Officer
Taco Bell Corp.
Good reply from the Taco Bell corporate guy….Red Hulk’s favorite snack is the Quad Steak Burrito….he eats 24 of these babies in one sitting.