Montgomery law firm Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis and Miles is suing Taco Bell for false advertisement of its “seasoned ground beef.”
The law firm had the beef product tested and found the beef mixture doesn’t exactly measure up to the advertisements that customers are receiving.
“Taco Bell internally refers to its beef products as ‘taco meat filling,’ but advertises the same product as ‘seasoned ground beef,’ said Dee Miles, attorney and section head of consumer fraud at Beasley Allen.
According to the USDA, the difference between “taco meat filling” and “seasoned ground beef” is that ground beef must be 70 percent beef and 30 percent fat, whereas taco meat filling must only be 40 percent beef. According to Beasley Allen, customers think that they are getting the 70/30 beef because of the “seasoned ground beef” label, but they are actually only getting 40 percent beef.
“That is mislabeling and a misrepresentation and is unfair to consumers,” Miles said. “It also poses a health risk to diabetics and those with food allergies, like gluten intolerance.”
Taco Bell strongly defends their seasoned beef product and its advertisement.
Taco Bell spokesman Rob Poetsch refused comment and refered to an updated statement regarding the class action lawsuit by Greg Creed, Taco Bell president and Chief Concept officer.
In the statement, Creed insists that the lawsuit is “bogus” and filled with completely inaccurate facts.
Taco Bell officials insure the beef is 100 percent USDA inspected and has the same quality as the type of beef sold at the grocery store or prepared in a consumer’s home.
According to Taco Bell officials, the seasoned beef includes 88 percent USDA inspected quality beef, 3–5 percent water for moisture, 3–5 percent spices (including salt, chili pepper, onion powder, tomato powder, garlic powder, sugar and a blend of Mexican spices and natural flavors) and 3–5 percent oats, starch, yeast and citric acid.
Creed compared Taco Bell’s seasoned beef recipe with a meatball, meatloaf or chili recipe that many of its customers would make at home. He said that just as homemade meatballs require their own recipe and seasonings to add flavor, Taco Bell’s seasoned beef contains a mixture of ingredients to add texture and taste to the product.
Taco Bell is taking the attack on the quality of its seasoned beef seriously and plans on taking legal action against the law firm for false statements about its product.
Taco Bell ensures that they do not use any type of “extenders” to add volume to its product and invites customers to visit their website to further understand the ingredients that go into the seasoned beef.
Beasley Allen wants Taco Bell to accurately advertise the contents of the product.
“We simply want Taco Bell to properly label their beef as ‘taco meat filling’ or increase their meat quality to satisfy the government’s 70/30 definition of beef,” Miles said. “If they do this, the case will be settled.”
The Beasley and Allen law firm feels strongly about bringing the truth to customers and will continue to fight on their behalf, Miles said.
“Customers need to be able to make informed decisions, especially about the food we use to fuel our God-given bodies,” Miles said. “It is very misleading for Taco Bell to call their beef products beef when it actually does not meet the definition.”