View Full Version : Taco Bell Meat - Urban Legend?

06-08-1999, 05:28 PM
I've recently heard something that sounded fishy about Taco Bell. I've heard that Taco Bell pays a fine every year for using a substandard grade of meat. The story goes that the cost savings outweighs the fine.
The first time I heard it, I ignored it. Less than a week later I heard it from someone else, totally unrelated from the first.
So, what I'm asking is:
1) Does anyone know if this is true? (Personally, it seems unlikely to me)
2) Is this an Urban Legend that I'm unfamiliar with that is currently making the rounds?
3) General comments?

If I am posting this in the wrong place, I apologise in advance. This seemed like 'Uncle Cecil' territory.


06-08-1999, 08:25 PM
Taco Bell uses meat? Now THATS an urban legend!

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Hunter Thompson

06-08-1999, 08:35 PM
Good question Cyrunner. However, what exactly is "substandard?" Many grocery stores sell less than "grade A" meat and meat by-products. I would assume (and you know what assuming does) that most fast-food restaurants do not use the high grade quality of meat--hence their profit margin. However, lower grades do not necessarily mean that they are hurtful, ( more fatty, less tasty etc. yes, but harmful not necessarily.) If any restaurant was serving contaminated or harmful food it would immediately be shut down due to health violation codes. ( Unless a pretty big kickback to food inspectors was given I guess.)
I do know that many chicken and cattle farmers feed their stock chicken "elimination" as it doesnt cause the critters any damage and is cheap. However, when cooked the beef doesnt cause any illness just smells and tastes like sh**. I learned from a Wampler farmer that you can tell if chix were fed their own excrement by breaking the bone of a chicken. The color will tell you.
I guess with taco bell, if they are doing this, the spices they use kind of takes away any unusual smell or taste. (Similar to the use and demand of spices which brought about the discovery of a trade route to China)

Sorry no informative answer to your post, but just my reaction and personal opinions. :)

06-08-1999, 10:56 PM
If fast food competitors could get a scintilla of factual evidence to this claim do you think it would be a whisper?
Taco Bell seems to be the UL of choice right now.

06-10-1999, 05:18 PM
I expect that what Doug is saying is true. If there were any truth to it, then one of the burger chains would swoop in for the kill.
I remember when Jack-in-the-Box had a problem with saminella. All of the chains issued press releases about meat handling and quality.

I was curious about it's status (or non-status) as an Urban Legend. Perhaps it is just a local rumor.


06-10-1999, 10:06 PM
I'm not sure you want to know what I have to tell you. If you like going to Taco Hell then you may want to ignore this. Where I work is a girl whose mother is a nutritionist for the school board. She has stated that the schools use very low grade meat...one up from the lowest....I don't know exactly what the grades are. She has also informed me that Taco Hell uses the absolute lowest grade that is legally available. Dog food is even a higher grade than the schools get. Another girl at work went to Taco Hell for lunch and brought back some kind of taco salad thing. While eating this she discovered and showed to me, a thick piece of artery about 3/4 of an inch long. You could look in one end and clearly see out the other. I had been telling her for months not to eat that garbage and it took this experience to finally get her to listen to me. One good thing about Taco Hell is the talking stuffed dogs.....my gf got all of them for me and I think their great. Other than that, Taco Hell has no redeaming qualities.

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06-10-1999, 10:54 PM
An urban legend is usually a foaf (friend of a friend) story. It logically follows that one cannot support a foaf story with a foaf (or in this case moaf - mother of a friend) story. How would a school nutritionist have any clue what grade of meat any restaurant uses? Spedrick - either cite some valid sources for your "facts" or don't post them as facts.

The overwhelming majority of people have more than the average (mean) number of legs. -- E. Grebenik

06-10-1999, 11:48 PM
After some brief research, I will ammend part of my last post. It is possible to have a clue what grade of meat a restaurant uses.

The USDA site provides this info:
Each USDA beef quality grade is a measure of a distinct level of quality -- and it takes eight grades to span the range. They are USDA Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial, Utility, Cutter, and Canner.

USDA Prime, Choice, Select, and Standard grades come from younger beef. The highest grade, USDA Prime, is used mostly by hotels and restaurants, but a small amount is sold at retail markets. The grade most widely sold at retail is USDA Choice. However, consumer preference for leaner beef has increased the popularity of the Select grade of beef. Select grade can now be found at most meat counters.

Standard and Commercial grade beef frequently is sold as ungraded or as "brand name" meat.

The three lower grades -- USDA Utility, Cutter, and Canner -- are seldom, if ever, sold at retail but are used instead to make ground beef and manufactured meat items such as frankfurters.

So it is probably safe to assume that any restaurant which serves ground beef, and does not advertise a particular grade, is probably using one of, or a combination of, the bottom 3 grades. If any of the fast food chains were spending more money for a higher meat grade, one would think they would press the issue in their advertising. BTW - the lower grades mean that the meat came from older animals and was not well marbled. This means the meat will be less tender and juicy. Grinding makes it easier to chew. It DOES NOT mean that the meat is in any way bad or poorly handled.

But you didn't know any of this Spedrick, so you were still just spreading rumors.

The overwhelming majority of people have more than the average (mean) number of legs. -- E. Grebenik

06-12-1999, 09:15 AM
But you didn't know any of this Spedrick, so you were still just spreading rumors.
What rumours did I spread? What are you talking about. I am telling you what my friends mother told me (and she is a nutritionist working for the government planning school lunches and much more), and I mentioned the incident where another co-worker of mine found a large piece of artery in her food from Taco Hell. No, I say there are no rumours here.

Visit Spedrick's Playground @ http://members.xoom.com/Spedrick/

06-14-1999, 03:01 PM
Spedrick - For your edification, something you hear from a friend's mom, and do not bother to verify, qualifies as a rumor. Even if she's a government nutritionist.

The overwhelming majority of people have more than the average (mean) number of legs. -- E. Grebenik

06-17-1999, 12:14 AM
It's boil-in-bags hamburger. It's not USDA #1 choice, but it's perfectly safe for consumption. And, I think Taco Bell is yummy. Beats tofu and most things "good for you".

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