Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Taco Bell Meat is Partially Good

Taco Bell is well known to serve people Mexican fast food. They have blessed customers with creative menu items such as the Gordita Supreme, 5 Layer Burrito (my favorite burrito), Crunchwrap Supreme, Beefy Nacho Burrito Grillers, and their most recent promotion, Cool Ranch Locos Tacos. A majority of Taco Bell's products contains seasoned ground beef. Taco Bell has previously promoted to consumers that their beef is pure 100% beef.  But for critics, the 100% beef  campaign is false advertisement. The meat is actually a mixture of binders, extenders, and filler compounds. Wit that said, Taco Bell's so called '100% beef ' does not even meet the minimum requirements that are strictly enforced by the Department of Agriculture. The Alabama Law firm, Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis and Miles is suing the YUM Brand Chain for False Advertisement.
The defendant of this lawsuit was a Californian resident named Amanda Obney. What was interesting about this case was she was not suing for compensatory damages and seeking for compensation. She was suing for Taco Bell to be honest about their advertisements and post the true ingredients of their beef product. Instead of the Taco Bell's ground beef made of pure beef, the beef is "...35 percent beef, with the remaining 65 percent containing water, wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodrextrin, anti-dusting agent and modified corn starch."(Taco Bell). Items such as wheat, soy and maltodextrin are common allergens that affect consumers that are allergic to any of these ingredients. To not incorporate these ingredients on their ingredient list can cause mild to serious health effects to the consumers; causing more lawsuits, dissatisfied customers, and negative word of mouth. A registered dietician and Fox news contributor Tanya Zuckerbrot says that in order for Taco Bell's beef to meet the minimum requirements of being considered as certified ground beef, "...ground beef can have seasonings, but no water, phosphates, extenders, or binders added." (Taco Bell). These requirements are set by the USDA. If these requirements are not met, then the beef would be mixture meat.

Taco Bell, on the other hand, does not believe that they are not doing anything wrong. Taco Bell denies that they have falsely advertised their beef and that they will heavily defend their reputation to the end.

Falsely representing your products as being 100% could deter consumers away from your brand. Since Taco Bell is a part of the conglomerate, YUMBrand, their bad reputation of not carrying real beef could negatively affect the perceptions of consumers. Not only will consumers have a negative perception of Taco Bell, but this could also negatively impact the other YUMBrand fast food chain restaurants (Pizza Hut and KFC). If Taco Bell beef is 100% real beef, then their beef should not contain any additives or fillers within their meat; let alone the additives and fillers to be a large majority of the meat product. If the meat does not meet the minimum requirements set by the USDA, then the meat is not as pure as they claim their beef to be.
On top of that, allergens is something that a company should not mess with. There are consumers who have serious allergic reactions to gluten, soy, or maltodextrin. If these allergens are not present on a label or ingredient's list, a customer may suffer an allergic reaction that may be fatal. Allergen notification is an issue that must be addressed and should be clearly labeled. When a company advertises a product as "high quality" but the product has many defects, this is false advertisement. When a hotel promotes their hotel in being 5 stars, but has an extensive history of rodent and bug infestations, this is false advertisement.When a fast food restaurant claims to use 100% beef in all of their menu items but contains additives, fillers, and does not meet the minimum requirements of being certified beef, this is false advertisement. Taco Bell should not be promoting of using 100% beef if the beef is not made of pure beef and seasoning.

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