As a precautionary measure, the Yum Brands fast food chain issued a voluntary recall that affects every Taco Bell store in 21 states across the eastern Midwest, northern Southwest, and Northeast regions, and all of these stores have since removed and thrown away the potentially contaminated beef.
Reports indicate that one of the two product lines at a single Kenosha Beef manufacturing plant in Columbus, Ohio, is responsible for the potentially contaminated beef, which was sent to distribution centers in Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Virginia, before being delivered to the affected Taco Bell restaurants.
In a statement, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) explained that there has not been any reports of adverse reactions caused by the recalled beef. However, since Taco Bell is one of the nation’s largest purchasers of ground beef, serving roughly 290 million pounds of it to customers every single year, Yum Brands didn’t want to take any chances.
For more related news about food safety, be sure to check out FoodSupply.news.
Taco Bell initially tried to cover up the metal shavings in its beef, some customers claim
On the flip side, it appears as though Taco Bell knew about the issue before the official recall, as some eateries were reportedly recommending to customers that they choose chicken or steak instead of beef in their tacos and burritos, without actually telling them why.
After this was made public, many took to social media to chastise Taco Bell and Yum Brands for engaging in what appears to have been a pre-recall cover up of a potentially very dangerous situation in terms of public health.
“The secrecy of what’s going on makes me afraid to ever eat at your restaurant again,” tweeted one individual about the news.
In response, Julie Masino, president of Taco Bell’s North American division, tried to claim that “nothing is more important than our customers’ safety, and nothing means more to us than their trust.” She further denied that Taco Bell engaged in any kind of cover up.
“As soon as we received the first consumer complaint, we immediately acted to remove the product from the affected restaurants and proactively worked with the supplier to inform the USDA of our steps to protect our guests,” she added.
Is the potentially contaminated beef really even beef?
As you may recall from our past reporting, there have been questions as to whether or not the so-called ground beef that Taco Bell serves to its customers is really even beef at all.
Back in 2011, an Alabama law firm filed a class action lawsuit against Taco Bell in California for selling what plaintiffs claimed was not actually beef at all, seeing as how it contains all sorts of filler additives that don’t even come from cows.
“It’s mainly soy and oats, and there’s lots of other stuff in there that I don’t even know how to pronounce,” stated attorney Dee Miles at the time.
There was also the time in 2006 when Taco Bell was identified as the source of an E. coli outbreak caused by contaminated spinach. For nearly a year, Taco Bell’s sales plummeted as former customers were simply too disturbed to eat there.
Hilariously, Taco Bell is currently being sued by a New Jersey couple as well, which claims that the fast food chain is engaging in false advertising by advertising Chalupa Cravings Boxes for $5 each, but actually charging upwards of $1 more at some locations.
If victorious, the couple will receive $2.18 cents from Taco Bell for damages.
Sources for this article include: