Taco Bell plans countersuit over ground beef

By Reuters
Posted Jan. 26 at 8:51 a.m.

Taco Bell Corp. is pushing back against a lawsuit that claims the fast food chain’s “seasoned ground beef” is not all it’s made out to be.

Taco Bell said on Tuesday that it plans to take legal action against the “false statements” being made about its food. The chain operates, manages or franchises more than 5,600 locations in the United States, according to the lawsuit.

Taco Bell’s tacos, burritos and other Mexican menu items advertised with beef actually contain a filling of mostly non-meat substances like “isolated oat product,” according to the lawsuit filed last week in a California federal court.

“The ‘chicken’ and ‘carne asada steak’ served by Taco Bell is, in fact, chicken or carne asada steak,” the lawsuit says. “The ‘seasoned beef,’ however, is not beef.”

Taco Bell simmers 100 percent U.S. Department of Agriculture-inspected beef in a “proprietary blend of seasonings and spices” to give it a signature taste and texture, Taco Bell President Greg Creed said in a statement.

All seasoning ingredients are listed on the website, he said.

“Unfortunately, the lawyers in this case elected to sue first and ask questions later — and got their ‘facts’ absolutely wrong,” Creed said.

Dee Miles, who represents the plaintiff, said Taco Bell calls its product “taco meat filling” inside the company, but beef to customers.

“We’re going to move forward and I believe we’re going to be successful,” Miles said.

The proposed class action lawsuit asks Taco Bell to stop misrepresenting its products and engage in a corrective advertising campaign. It also seeks attorneys’ fees and costs.

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  1. bigdog0319 Jan. 25 at 3:00 pm

    Go Veg!

  2. Mikey Bottoms Jan. 25 at 3:05 pm

    I’ll just take a bite out of standing cow. I’ll never go veg, bigdog, never!

  3. tony Jan. 25 at 3:10 pm

    They loose sight of one important point. I dont actually care if its meat. its tasty.

  4. ryan Jan. 25 at 3:24 pm

    I agree with tony. meat or not, I likey.

  5. BeaJae Jan. 25 at 3:43 pm

    no quiero Taco Bell!

  6. sigh Jan. 25 at 3:51 pm

    Good grief. The right thing for Taco Bell would have been to apologize and use real ground beef. It’s not hard, really.

  7. Dawn Davenport Jan. 25 at 4:10 pm

    Elmo wants one Isolated Oat Product Chalupa and a lemonade, please.

  8. slicwilli Jan. 25 at 4:22 pm

    I’m not a big fan of taco bell, but i’m sure their meat is actual meat. This lawsuit will go nowhere. Taco Bell may sue the plaintiff for defamation or something.

  9. Perry Mason Jan. 25 at 4:32 pm

    iz tofu?

  10. Jeff Jan. 25 at 4:32 pm

    Watch it be actually be kangaroo meat like what the old Jack in The Box used to use.

  11. markr Jan. 25 at 4:35 pm

    Lawyers lie. That’s why “lawyer” and “liar” sound so much alike. Taco Bell USES real beef. This is a suit with ONE purpose–to make money for a bunch of liars…I mean, lawyers.

  12. Dan Jan. 25 at 4:47 pm

    Like this is really a shock for any of us….

  13. Buca Jan. 25 at 4:48 pm

    Tony, it’s “lose” not “loose.” Otherwise, what you said doesn’t make sense…”They [not tight] sight of one important point. I dont actually care if its meat. its tasty.” See.

    Why do people constantly get this wrong? It’s basic English 101! Yet, we’re complaining that illegals need to learn the language.

    Lose = to have lost; not won
    Loose = not tight

  14. andrew Jan. 25 at 4:50 pm

    Slik willi, that was funny

  15. yabba Jan. 25 at 4:53 pm

    Spelling Nazi wins the thread.

  16. hwga Jan. 25 at 4:57 pm

    Go Taco Bell. It’s about time companies stand up to ridiculous law suits. And of course, the suit is filed in California.

  17. Meseret Hailu Jan. 25 at 5:00 pm

    Just because someone (Tony) didn’t pay attention in school doesn’t make his opinion irrelevant. In fact, Taco Bell probably targets this demmografik!

  18. jrcdmc Jan. 25 at 5:21 pm

    These kinds of suits are sort of vaguely interesting for the suburban consumer, but let’s face it–the culinary choices of those who would snack on Taco Bell are somewhat, shall we say, barbaric.

    We live in a city with some of the best REAL Mexican food outside of Mexico city. Good God–I can name 10 places within walking distance where I can purchase a taco 100x better than anything Taco Bell serves up.

    I feel really bad for the plaintiffs that are given no other choice in their sad, depressing, fast food based suburban existances. Oh I know, they should do a suit that says that Olive Garden claims to be ‘Italian’. Domino’s claims to be ‘pizza’. So sorry, don’t really care given that we live in the greatest food town on the planet.

  19. pfnerd50 Jan. 25 at 6:35 pm

    Who gives an asada what it is, it tastes good.

  20. pfnerd50 Jan. 25 at 6:42 pm

    And pretentious pseudo-foodies like jrcdmc are, shall we say, wanna-be editorialists who puke out pomposity.

  21. Jeeper Jan. 25 at 7:30 pm

    I don’t eat at TB since they offered the “cantina” taco. It came with what amounted to 1/2 ounce of beef, some chiles, and 1/2 dozen strands of cheese. It totally did not appear like the ones pictured. I complained to the manager but he said that’s how they were taught to make them.

    Ever since then, I go to El Famous instead. Talk about authentic tacos and burritos! They have $1.00 tacos every Tuesday. No, I am no way associated with El Famous.

  22. LaughabL Jan. 25 at 7:45 pm

    If oats are in the beef, what’s in the beans?

  23. lostagain Jan. 25 at 8:09 pm

    Who needs a lab to determine this crap is not meat. I’m suprised it’s oats or any food product.

  24. Bill Jan. 25 at 9:42 pm

    The sodium and the fat are shortening your life. Taco Bell or Hardees or you name your fast food poison. If you want to live a better life, don’t eat out or carry out, cook at home.

  25. lamonth Jan. 25 at 9:44 pm

    i do not think taco bell really wants to open this can of worms – do they reall want there real ingredients exposed. there is a reason why taco bell is so cheap, except for their chicken and steak tacos

  26. Pancho Jan. 25 at 10:16 pm

    Buca, Buca, Buca…how can you call out Anthony on ‘loose’ and not nail him on his misuse of ‘its’…twice…plus he didn’t capitalize the last ‘its.’ A C- for you.

    Oh, and Taco Bell is a widely known as a synonym for diarrhea.

  27. Alovesit Jan. 25 at 11:25 pm

    Wow, sometimes these dumbs comments are more fun to read than the actual story itself. Thanks all! By the way, if you haven’t been to the TB on Clybourn you’re missing out.

  28. traveler2 Jan. 26 at 4:21 a.m.

    Wheres the Beef? I never had a taco bell are they good.

  29. Michael Jan. 26 at 6:00 a.m.

    All this time I thought Taco Bell was the Mexican Phone company.

  30. Mr. Bean Jan. 26 at 6:19 a.m.

    jrcdmc: Oh yes please do lecture us poor poor suburbanites who are lost in a sea of Taco Bells & Olive Gardens! It must be really difficult to look all the way down at us mere mortals from your high horse. You are absolutely right! The “City” is sooooo much better! Your smugness must make you delightful with others.

  31. Gallifrey504 Jan. 26 at 6:35 a.m.

    jrcdmc isn’t lecturing anyone. Freshly made food is always going to be better, both in taste and for you. Why anyone would chose Taco Hell over an authetic Mexican restaurant is beyond me if that choice is available to them. And if that choice is not avialable to them, well, beef filling that is only 36% beef is something that would give me serious pause. I would at this point direct anyone who is interested to read the book FAST FOOD NATION. You will never view any of those kinds of places the same.

  32. jimmy don Jan. 26 at 6:51 a.m.

    Buca, if your are going to correct someone you should be correct as well…..it’s cite not sight

  33. Dave Jan. 26 at 7:11 a.m.

    I’m not sure how fortifying beef with a grain like oats is ethically that bad. Sounds like it tastes terrible, sure, but nutritionally it sounds fine, and in terms of environmental impact, well, you are reducing the amount of beef consumed – so that’s also a good thing.

  34. WallyVanRiper Jan. 26 at 7:42 a.m.

    If God didn’t want us to eat animals, why did he make them out of meat?

  35. JMiike Jan. 26 at 7:59 a.m.

    jimmy don,

    Actually, “sight” is correct. “Cite” means to quote an authority or to recommend someone for an award.

    I am the grammarian about whom your mother warned you.

  36. Dizzy Jan. 26 at 8:31 a.m.

    Michael, now that’s funny!!!

  37. CA652 Jan. 26 at 8:53 a.m.

    Gallifrey504, you’ve obviously never eaten at a certain Mexican place in Springfield. Just because it’s authentic DOESN’T mean that it’s going to be good. Plus everyone knows that there isn’t anything better than a 2 AM Taco Bell run.

  38. SPIN DOCTOR Jan. 26 at 9:11 a.m.


    Where’s the Beef?

    Regurgitated cardboard and oatmeal

    Head for the border.

    Leave the cows at home.


  39. flossmore Jan. 26 at 9:28 a.m.

    I’m going to sue White Castle on account of my cousin’s best friend’s girl friend’s next store neighbor’s baby sitter got a little tummy ache whilst noshing on one of their square burgers…..and….she ordered cheese and there was nary a slice to be found!
    Love those little grilled onions. May also sue Evelyn Wood onna-conna sumtimes i mes-spel sum wurds to!

  40. Scrumble Jan. 26 at 11:12 a.m.

    I thought they used chihuahua meat.

  41. Mr. Bean Jan. 26 at 11:24 a.m.

    Gallifrey504: Of course I would prefer a local “authentic” mexican place over Taco Bell. My issue with the jrcdmc was that he smugly assumes that anyone who doesn’t live in the “City” is ignorant and only familiar with fast food as the poster inferred that is all there is in the suburbs.

  42. bs Jan. 26 at 12:00 pm

    Please to be coming to my restaurant Casa Krysbakistan today in featuring most enjoyable “Yak Frittata with Creamed Carp Gravy.” Many thank yous,

  43. chitowntony Jan. 26 at 4:13 pm

    Taco Bell needs to enforce thier standards for food served.
    Like the new Burrito with Frito’s, you have to use a magnifying glass to find chips, only thing you tast is tortilla, because it is too big.

    Only saying as a food service professional.

    If there was no problem why are they counter suing?

  44. rex Jan. 28 at 12:01 a.m.

    Y’know, if it’s mostly veggie ground round anyway, why don’t they just offer it that way and take out the beef content entirely? It’s certainly a tastier veg option than substituting REFRIED BEANS (bleeeeeeccchhh!!! #$!@$!%#!@)

  45. SteveorAlan Feb. 2 at 9:31 pm

    “If there was no problem why are they counter suing?”

    Think about what harm this has done to their company in profitability whether the statements in the lawsuit were true or not. Word of mouth alone may have lost them customers.