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Lawsuit: Where’s the beef in Taco Bell’s Meat?

Lawsuit: Where’s the beef in Taco Bell’s Meat?

Where’s the beef? Well, we hate to break it to you, but it may not be at Taco Bell, according to a class-action lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in Southern California.

The class-action suit, which does not ask for money, objects to Taco Bell calling its products “seasoned ground beef or seasoned beef, when in fact a substantial amount of the filling contains substances other than beef. Does this surprise any of us?

It says Taco Bell’s ground beef is made of such components as water, isolated oat product, wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodextrin, anti-dusting agent, autolyzed yeast extract, modified corn starch, sodium phosphate, as well as some beef and seasonings.

Just 35 percent of the taco filling was a solid, and just 15 percent overall was protein, said attorney W. Daniel “Dee” Miles III of the in Montgomery, Ala., law firm Beasley Allen, which filed the suit.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s website, “ground beef” or “chopped beef” consists of chopped fresh or frozen beef with or without seasoning, should not contain more than 30% fat and should not contain water, phosphates, binders or extenders.

The lawsuit’s claim that Taco Bell’s “seasoned beef” contains the forbidden additives is backed up by the restaurant’s ingredients list on its website, which says the “seasoned beef” in a Beefy Crunch Burrito contains water, sodium phosphates, soy lecithin, modified corn starch, and anti-caking and anti-dusting agents, among others ingredients.

“Our taco meat is made from USDA-inspected beef and is subjected to quality check points. It tastes great because it’s simmered in 12 authentic seasonings and spices and is never frozen. Moreover, our taco meat is leaner than what you’ll find in a restaurant-cooked hamburger because of the unique way that we prepare our taco meat and remove fat,” according to the Taco Bell web site.

Taco Bell spokesman Rob Poetsch told The Associated Press that the company’s advertising isn’t misleading

“Taco Bell prides itself on serving high quality Mexican inspired food with great value. We’re happy that the millions of customers we serve every week agree,” Poetsch said. He added that the company would “vigorously defend the suit.”

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