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Irvine’s Taco Bell accused of skimping on beef

“Where’s the beef?” could become another fast-food restaurant’s motto.

A class-action lawsuit filed in federal court says there’s not enough meat in Irvine-based Taco Bell’s offerings to qualify as beef.

The plaintiff is identified as Amanda Obney of California, and the suit was filed recently in the U.S. District Court in the Central District, Southern Division, in Santa Ana.

Her lawyers are with the firm Blood Hurst & O’Reardon of San Diego.


The class-action suit, which does not ask for money, objects to Taco Bell calling its products “seasoned ground beef or seasoned beef, when in fact a substantial amount of the filling contains substances other than beef.”

It says Taco Bell’s ground beef is made of such components as water, isolated oat product, wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodextrin, anti-dusting agent, autolyzed yeast extract, modified corn starch, sodium phosphate, as well as some beef and seasonings.

Just 35% of the taco filling was a solid, and just 15% overall was protein, said attorney W. Daniel “Dee” Miles III of the Montgomery, Ala., law firm Beasley Allen, which filed the suit.

“Taco Bell’s definition of ‘seasoned beef’ does not conform to consumers’ reasonable expectation or ordinary meaning of seasoned beef, which is beef and seasonings,” the suit says. Beef is the “flesh of cattle,” according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Taco Bell says it doesn’t exaggerate what it gives consumers and that there has been no false advertising about any of its products.

—From the Daily Pilot and KTLA-5