You might want to re-think thinking outside the bun. One of the nation’s top fast-food chains has been forced to recall millions of pounds of beef.
Taco Bell began recalling the beef last week after a diner found something unusual in his meal. As many as 2.3 million pounds of seasoned beef were recalled in 20 states. If you have become ill after eating at a restaurant, tap or click here to report your experiences and track other food poisoning incidents.
While the recall was the responsible thing to do, how Taco Bell went about it isn’t sitting well with customers. The recall caught millions of consumers off-guard and they weren’t getting any explanations as to why they couldn’t order items containing beef.
Diner finds surprise ingredient
Taco Bell’s recall saga began last week when a customer found “metal shavings” in their meal; however, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) stated there were actually three customer complaints. FSIS says there have been no reports of illnesses.
FSIS confirmed Taco Bell’s conclusion that the metal shavings could be traced back to Kenosha Beef International in Columbus, Ohio, which produces Taco Bell’s seasoned beef. The meat was produced on various dates from Sept. 20, 2019 to Oct. 4, 2019.
According to Taco Bell, Kenosha Beef sent the seasoned beef to restaurants in Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Virginia. But as a precaution, the company also pulled meat from:
- North Carolina
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
- Washington, D.C.
Taco Bell said it and Kenosha Beef kept FSIS updated on its actions once the metal shavings were discovered. Meanwhile, FSIS is cautioning some of the tainted protein may be in some restaurant refrigerators.
Restaurants located in the recall areas are urged not to serve the beef. The agency says the meat should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.
Taco Bell customers not happy
If nothing else, Taco Bell fans are an irreverent bunch. They know darn well they aren’t getting haute cuisine when they go to the Bell, but Taco Bell’s actions while recalling the tainted meat left customers in the dark. Many didn’t know why seasoned beef was off their restaurants’ menus so they took to social media.
Hey @tacobell can you guys be real about what’s going on with your beef. I love eating there and the secrecy of what’s going on makes me afraid to ever eat at your restaurant again
— ICUrn (@jeff_serenks) October 14, 2019
— Jen (@fergie1717) October 12, 2019
Other customers stayed on-brand with the humor:
@tacobell has no ground beef and it’s chaos. Birds were chirping intensely, the employees looked tense and people were yelling. This Taco Bell has become the Twilight zone.
— Yousif Elberri (@YElberri) October 11, 2019
News: “Taco Bell is recalling their meat because…”
Me: “Nooo, don’t be Racoon meat. Don’t be Racoon meat.”
News: “…some guy found piece of metal in his Taco.”
— Hollywood Exposed (@AndstuffL) October 15, 2019
Along with the stealthy recall, customers were not happy Taco Bell’s problems impacted their wallets.
Taco Bell is charging customers for the up grade to chicken or steak because of the recall of their ground beef. Not right to penalize their customers!! This is happening at the Sandusky, MI location. I don’t know how many other locations are doing this.
— Vicky Spiegel (@vas0314) October 15, 2019
It’s been a difficult year for Taco Bell, which also experienced the great tortilla shortage of July 2019. Taco Bell said a supplier issue caused the tortilla shortage that forced some of its restaurants to temporarily cut some menu items.
Owned by The Yum! Brands, Taco Bell and its franchisees operate more than 7,000 restaurants around the world, with 6,600 located in the U.S.