Taco Bell: Massive Beef Recall

Oct 15, 2019 |

Food Safety News – An “undetermined amount” of seasoned beef produced by Kenosha Beef International for Taco Bell was recalled late Monday, and by early Tuesday, identified as 2 million pounds of meat that was bound for the fast-food restaurant’s outlets across the country.

Some of the beef is still within the window of use-by dates that are stamped on the packaging.

Kenosha is based in Columbus, OH, and last night through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said customer complaints about metal shavings in the seasoned beef led to the recall.

The FSIS learned of the customer complaints about the metal shavings three days ago on Oct. 12.

Specifically recalled were:

  • Cases containing eight 5-pound plastic bags of “TACO BELL SEASONED Beef Taco and Burrito Filling” with use-by dates of “L2 11/4/19” to “L2 11/18/19.”

The recalled products have the establishment number “EST. 10130” printed on the case.

The 2 million pounds of recalled beef [wholesale value, over $3 million] was shipped to five distribution centers, and from there shipped to Taco Bell locations nationwide. The seasoned beef was produced on various dates from Sept. 20 to Oct. 4.

Kenosha contends there were no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of the beef. The company’s officials said anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS is concerned that some product may be in restaurant refrigerators. Restaurants that have purchased these products are urged not to serve them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

Taco Bell reported 100 percent of the recalled beef was removed from its outlets in 21 states. That statement has not been confirmed by the USDA.

Taco Bell’s president for North America said the fast food chain acted immediately.

“Nothing is more important than our customers’ safety, and nothing means more to us than their trust,” Julie Masino, president of Taco Bell for North America, said in a news release. “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.”

Based on the reported timeline, it appears that close to three days elapsed from the consumer complaint to Kenosha’s recall announcement.

USDA’s food safety unit routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.

When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)