Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Consumers ask Taco Bell, “Where’s the beef?”

By Michelle Williams

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“Where’s the beef?” was once a slogan of the fast-food restaurant chain Wendy’s, in regards to the quality of meat of their competitors’ products. Now, some consumers are asking just that of Taco Bell.

An Alabama law firm has filed a class-action law suit against the fast-food company, that claims the “seasoned beef” served in its products does not contain enough beef to be considered beef, seasoned or otherwise.

According to the lawsuit, only 35 percent of the beef filling served in tacos was actual beef, with the remaining 65 percent consisting of ingredients including: water, isolated oat product, wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodextrin, anti-dusting agent, autolyzed yeast extract, modified corn starch and sodium phosphate and seasoning.

For a product to be considered ground beef by the U.S Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, it must be at least 70 percent beef, not include added water, phosphates or binders, and no more than 30 percent fat.

To be considered taco beef filling, the product must contain at least 40 percent fresh meat, and the label must display that the product is not ground beef, but “taco filling with meat,” according to the Department of Agriculture.

“Taco Bell’s definition of ‘seasoned beef’ does not conform to consumers’ reasonable expectation or ordinary meaning of seasoned beef, which is beef and seasonings,” the class-action suit states.

In an interview with the L.A. Times, W. Daniel “Dee” Miles III, of law firm Beasley Allen who filed the lawsuit said, “You can’t call it beef by definition.” He added, “It’s junk. I wouldn’t eat it.”

In response to the lawsuit, Taco Bell Corp. released a statement on their website. Greg Creed, the president and chief concept officer, began the statement with, “The lawsuit is bogus and filled with completely inaccurate facts.” Creed goes on to say, “Our seasoned beef recipe contains 88 percent quality USDA-inspected beef and 12 percent seasonings, spices, water and other ingredients that provide taste, texture and moisture.”

Creed also said in the statement that the company plans to take action against the law firm that filed the suit. “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.”

Michelle Williams can be reached at [email protected]

2 Comments

2 Responses to “Consumers ask Taco Bell, “Where’s the beef?””

  1. kenzie on January 27th, 2011 10:52 pm

    i love taco bell!!! yum yum yum yum yum

  2. LemonMeister on January 29th, 2011 10:58 pm

    TACO BELL and KB Home get less than you pay for? Thank you for suing us? YES were not responsible for our own actions. Chief concept officer? Greg Creed, putting the CON in CONCEPT officer CCO = cheat consumers often. Why must society have to sue you to get you to do the right thing? Maybe the headline should read: Go ahead we have so much cash your lawyers will be in court for the next 50 years, appeal we got you appeal right here. Melissa Lora is the currently a Board of Director for KB Home Inc and the Chief Financial Officer of TACO BELL. On Wikipedia Taco Bell’s bio has no mention of Lora who sits on KB Home Board of Directors? Clearly Melissa Lora does not want to be associated with one of the nation’s largest builders? Melissa Lora. CFO at Taco Bell Corp. Orange County, California. These corporations only care that they rake it in you the consumer could die, we don’t care, F”off”. Your brand is attacking us by insulting us with untrue advertising. What happened to the truth in Advertising law? You knew what you were selling 35% of a taco at 100% of your charge. If I went in to buy a taco for $1 and told you I’ll only pay .35 cents you’d show me the door… Chris Rock in “I’m gonna get ya sucker”

    Melissa Lora does not have a biography on TACO BELL’s Official Website? No one in management at TACO BELL has a bio on their website. Are they hiding? Another reputation issue since the food poisoning outbreak TACO BELL’s E. coli bacteria was famous for? In March 2005, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) won a landmark victory in its national boycott of Taco Bell for human rights. KB Home uses undocumented workers to build its homes? Taco Bell? A lawsuit filed in 2011 alleges that Taco Bell beef is comprised of less than 35% beef. We’ve seen the goop, it pours out of a bag like dried brown flour that coagulates into something that looks like ground beef when water is added.

    Currently, Ms. Lora serves on the following boards:

    * KB Home
    * Taco Bell, YUM Brands
    * Discovery Science Center

    Other distinguished KB Home Board members include Melissa Lora’s buddy Bruce Karatz who was just convicted as a felon and is currently under house arrest in his 24 room Bel-Air Mansion (not built by KB Home) serving out his 8 months home confinement for swindling 11 Million Dollars. Martha Stewart is a spokesperson for KB Home also served time for her former stock swindle. Gary A. Ray head of KB Home human resources is a convicted felon in this current stock swindle.

    Melissa Lora and KB Home built this lemon with Bruce Karatz. KB Home is under a Federal Trade Commission Consent Order. KB Home must buy back your home if not 100% satisfied within the first year? Why was this order servered on KB Home? They violated the truth in Advertising law? Yet they won’t buy your house back a clear violation. Melissa Lora has never responded as KB Home Board of Directors to any customer complaint letter sent to him by certified mail. KB Home sells Lemons, Just Google Melissa Lora.. http://preview.tinyurl.com/6buzywe
    Seems the entire management of both KB Home and TACO BELL has an image problem? Not mentioning their Chief Financial Officer’s proud accomplishments at KB Home. Where’s the BEEF in my poorly constructed KB Home? Both are misleading the public and getting less than they paid for. The only difference is TACO BELL exits after 24 hours; KB Home continues to give you irritable bowel syndrome. Should I be thinking outside of my bun? Taco Bell is a part of Yum! Brands, Inc. (“Yum Brands”). Yum Brands includes: Kentucky Fried Chicken KFC U.S. Properties, Inc., Taco Bell Corp., Pizza Hut, Inc., Long John Silver’s, Inc., A&W Restaurants, Inc., WingStreet, LLC, and Yum Restaurants International, Inc. She has been a Director at KB Home since 04/2004. She serves on the Taco Bell National Purchasing Co-Op Board of Directors and is a Member of the Unified Foodservice Purchasing Co-Op as well as the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, California. Are they all ripping you off?

    “Our government, through the USDA and FDA, provides definitions, standards and labeling guidelines for ‘ground beef.’ Just like the FTC is enforcing the 1979 FTC Consent order Against KB Home. Yeah Right! B33F just 3s not E’s. Check the art they never spelled BEEF with E’s. Just flipped over threes?

    According to Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, a best-selling new book that is putting millions of Americans off their deep-fried favourites, you are actually making a decision that involves biting into a slab of chemically enhanced beef made from the meat of more than 100 different cows that is probably contaminated with E-coli bacteria and almost certainly containing faeces of some sort. Thank you Melissa Lora for your contribution to society at KB Home and TACO BELL.

    Fast Food Nation

    The waste products from poultry plants, including the sawdust and old newspapers used as litter, are also being fed to cattle. A study published a few years ago in ‘Preventative Medicine’ notes that in Arkansas alone, about 3 million pounds of chicken manure were fed to cattle in 1994.”

    A earlier investigation by NBC news said that the Cattle King Packing Company — at the time, the USDA’s largest supplier of ground beef for school lunches and a supplier to Fast Food companies — routinely processed cattle that were already dead before arriving at its plant, hid diseased cattle from inspectors, and mixed rotten meat that had been returned by customers into packages of hamburger meat.

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