If your local Taco Bell was out of beef this week, we now know the reason why. Taco Bell’s parent company Yum! Brands issued a recall for 2.3 million pounds of seasoned ground beef in 21 states over fears that the meat was contaminated with metal shavings during the manufacturing process.
No one has so far become sick from the food., according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). However, after receiving a customer complaint about finding metal shavings in the beef, Taco Bell traced the meat back to one of its distributors in Ohio and decided to preemptively pull all of the potentially contaminated beef from its restaurants and distribution centers.
Kenosha Beef International, the distributor, has issued its own recall for Taco Bell seasoned beef products that were manufactured between Sept. 20 and Oct. 4.
In a statement on Taco Bell’s website, Julie Masino, President of North America, Taco Bell Corp said: “Nothing is more important than our customers’ safety, and nothing means more to us than their trust. As soon as we received the first consumer complaint, we immediately acted to remove the product from the affected restaurants and proactively worked with the supplier to inform the USDA of our steps to protect our guests.”
The company said that as of Oct. 14, 100 percent of the affected beef has been removed from restaurants in the eastern Midwest, northern Southeast, and Northeast. States that received the tainted product were Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont and West Virginia. Washington, D.C. was on the list as well.
The recall frustrated Taco Bell customers who tried to order their favorite fast food items only to be told that they’d have to be made with chicken instead of beef without an explanation why.
“I didn’t order from Chick-Fil-A,” wrote one Twitter user after receiving the news from Doodash that her entire Taco Bell delivery order would not be able to be made with beef.
— Mo Charlton (@MoCharlton999) October 13, 2019
This isn’t the only spate of bad publicity that Taco Bell has seen in recent months. Back in July, the fast-food chain faced a tortilla shortage that left their restaurants unable to make some of their most basic menu items, like burritos and quesadillas.
If you have questions about the recall, you can call Taco Bell at 1-800-822-6235. Customer service representatives are available weekdays from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. PT.