A class action filed on January 21, 2011 in federal court in California alleges that the fast food chain, Taco Bell, is using false advertising when it says its tacos acies are filled with “ground beef” or “seasoned ground beef.” The complaint alleges that the taco meat filling” used by Taco Bell contains only about 35% beef, with binders, extenders, preservatives, additives and other agents making up the other 65%.
The plaintiff is not seeking damages. Instead, she wants the court to order Taco Bell to be honest with customers about what is in its tacos, chalupas and other dishes. 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.