Taco Bell Class-Action Lawsuit “Would it kill you to Say You’re Sorry”Ad.
Brief:- the Alabama-based firm Beasley Allen filed a class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana. Led by a California-based plaintiff, the suit claimed that the seasoned beef Taco Bell advertises in its food actually was only 36 percent real beef.
The complaint said:
“Rather than beef, these food items are actually made with a substance known as ‘taco meat filling.’ Taco meat filling mostly consists of ‘extenders’ and other non-meat substances. Taco meat filling is not beef.
“Taco Bell’s ‘seasoned beef’ actually contains among other ingredients, water, ‘Isolated Oat Product,’ wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodrextrin, anti-dusting agent, autolyzed yeast extract, modified corn starch and sodium phosphate, as well as beef and seasonings.”
The company claims that it doesn’t use fillers or extenders to boost the volume of the beef. It explains its ingredients on this FAQ page.(Below,Very Informative).
For instance, it says: “Each ingredient helps make our Seasoned Beef taste great. Many of them are items you might use at home such as salt, peppers, and spices. Ingredients like oats and sodium phosphates help make sure the texture is right.”
What are these “other” ingredients? They have some pretty weird names!
They do have weird names—perfect for tongue twisters! But these ingredients are completely safe and approved by the FDA. They’re common ingredients also found in food items at your grocery store.
Each ingredient helps make our Seasoned Beef taste great. Many of them are items you might use at home such as salt, peppers, and spices. Ingredients like oats and sodium phosphates help make sure the texture is right.
But I don’t use these ingredients at home. Why do you?
Well, some of the ingredients probably aren’t in most pantries, but you’ll find many of the same ingredients in seasoning packets found on grocery store shelves. They do the same thing for those foods as they do for us.
We sell more than 2 billion tacos every year, so it’s important our Seasoned Beef consistently maintains the proper standard of quality for every customer. In case you’re curious, here’s our not-so-secret recipe. We start with USDA-inspected quality beef (88%). Then add water to keep it juicy and moist (3%). Mix in Mexican spices and flavors, including salt, chili pepper, onion powder, tomato powder, sugar, garlic powder, and cocoa powder (4%). Combine a little oats, caramelized sugar, yeast, citric acid, and other ingredients that contribute to the flavor, moisture, consistency, and quality of our seasoned beef (5%).
Do you put oats in your Seasoned Beef as a filler?
No, not as filler. Our Seasoned Beef doesn’t contain any “fillers” or “extenders” to add volume. The very small percentage of isolated oat product (which means a part of the oat, not the whole thing) is used to help our Seasoned Beef stay moist.
Okay, but I’ve heard you use Grade D meat. Is that why it’s so cheap?
Although that’s funny, the answer is NO. In fact, there’s no such grade given by the USDA for beef. We use the same quality beef used in all ground beef (like you’d find in the grocery store) – only USDA-inspected, 100% premium real beef, period.
How can it be good quality…I mean, it’s so cheap?
We’re one of the largest beef buyers in the U.S. Every year, we buy about 300 million pounds of seasoned beef. Since we buy in bulk, we’re able to secure some of the best prices, which we pass along to you.
How do I know the meat is safe to eat?
Like all U.S. beef, our beef is 100% USDA-inspected. All the beef used in our Seasoned Beef passes a 20-point inspection before it’s given the “okay” to use. Further, we cook our taco meat at 175 degrees F to ensure food safety before it’s served to you.
Is there really dust in your meat? I mean, why use an anti-dusting agent?
No, of course not. But our recipe includes finely ground spices and ingredients that can rise and cloud the air during the mixing process. We use soybean oil (the anti-dusting agent) to help prevent this from happening.
I heard a rumor there’s sand in your taco meat.
This is completely false. The truth is, what has been referred to as “sand”, is silicon dioxide. Silicon dioxide:
- Is a safe, common food ingredient often used in spices, seasonings, and many restaurant and packaged foods;
- Is primarily used in food to prevent dry ingredients (like seasonings) from sticking together;
- Is a naturally occurring mineral, often found in water, leafy green and root vegetables, cooked dried beans, whole grains, cereals, and fruits;
- Can be found in many kitchen pantries across America, in mashed potato and rice mixes, coffee, soups, and many spices and seasonings;
- Is approved for use in food by the Food and Drug Administration here;
Like many in the food business, we use silicon dioxide in the seasonings and spices of our taco meat. When cooked, our beef contains about .0005% (or five ten-thousandths of one percent) of this ingredient—far less than the 2% FDA limit. Furthermore, we use certified organic silicon dioxide. It is not artificial and is not a preservative.
What is soy lecithin and why do you use it?
When you prepare as much taco meat as we do, you don’t want it to separate. That’s what soy lecithin does. It helps (with moisture) to bind substances that would otherwise separate – like oil and water. It’s a common ingredient in many grocery staples, like chocolate bars and salad dressings.
Maltodextrin? Seriously? Why would I eat that?
It sounds weird, but it’s actually a form of sugar that’s not very sweet. We use a very small amount as a natural flavor enhancer. You may have had it the last time you had a natural soda.
Okay what about “autolyzed yeast extract?”
This is a form of yeast that gives our Seasoned Beef a more savory taste.
Modified Corn Starch seems like an odd ingredient in Mexican food.
Actually, it’s derived from corn, which is a food staple in Mexican culture as well as many others. We use a small amount as a thickener and to maintain moisture in our Seasoned Beef. It’s common in many foods like yogurt.
Why do sodium phosphates belong in your recipe?
Well, we use them to help make sure our Seasoned Beef is the right texture. They’re also commonly found in deli items, cheeses, coffee drinks and desserts.
Tell me what citric acid does.
We use a small percentage in our overall recipe to add brighter flavor.
Caramel Color and Cocoa Powder? Those sound like they belong in desserts!
They probably do! But caramel color is caramelized sugar, which is a commonly used food coloring (also found in beer and sodas). Cocoa Powder doesn’t add any flavor to our recipe, but it helps our Seasoned Beef maintain a rich color.
Speaking of suppliers, who do you do business with?
We only work with the best and most respected manufacturers who follow our strict supplier guidelines. Like all USDA suppliers, our suppliers have USDA inspectors on-site. For beef, one of our largest suppliers is Tyson. We work with brands like McCormick® for our seasonings.