Would You Like Salsa With Your Anti-Dusting Agent? Taco Bell Sued Over Allegedly Serving Non-Beef in Tacos

There is an interesting lawsuit out of Alabama where lawyers have filed a class action against Taco Bell over its claim to serve “beef” in its dishes. In fact, the lawsuit alleges, Taco Bell is serving what are called “beef extenders” and not actual beef as defined by the U.S. government.


Taco Bell Corporation spokesman Rob Poetsch responded by saying that “Taco Bell prides itself on serving high quality Mexican inspired food with great value. We’re happy that the millions of customers we serve every week agree. We deny our advertising is misleading in any way and we intend to vigorously defend the suit.” That is an interesting statement. It does not appear to deny that it is serving marginal beef products but that the company never really promised anything more than it serves. Presumably, if the company issued a statement that it was in fact serving “beef” in response to this lawsuit, it could be cited as part of the alleged effort to deceive in advertising (assuming they are not serving “beef” as defined by federal law).

The class action alleges the company is serving what is referred to as “taco meat filling, which is comprised mainly of “extenders” and other non-meat substances, including wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodrextrin, anti-dusting agent, autolyzed yeast extract, modified corn starch and sodium phosphate as well as beef and seasonings. Of course, the company could claim that it is the anti-dusting agents and maltrodrexin that gives it that “high quality Mexican inspired food” taste but it would not actually have most Americans “running to the border.”

The lawsuit alleges that only 36% of what the company serves customers is properly classified as meat.

What is anti-dusting agent, you ask?

Well, I have tried to find out. Assuming this is the same product, one manufacturer indicates that it is helpful in a grinding process:

It is advisable to use as little quantity of Antidusting Agent (“Dedusting BM”) as possible since excessive amount may cause blending problem in subsequent process. The concentrated dye and diluents are mixed together. Then slowly spray the required percentage of Antidusting Agent (“Dedusting BM”) over an hour, continue mixing for additional 1 To 2 hrs. The purpose is to reduce dusting tendency during grinding and to keep manufacturing atmosphere free of dyestuff contamination.

Oils appear used for anti-dusting operation, particularly soybean oil.

As for maltodextrin, it is a polysaccharide that is used as a food additive — a white powder derived from either corn or potatoes.

Update: Greg Creed, president of Taco Bell, has issued this statement:

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Source: WTOL and Reddit

47 thoughts on “Would You Like Salsa With Your Anti-Dusting Agent? Taco Bell Sued Over Allegedly Serving Non-Beef in Tacos

  1. What the hell is an “anti-dusting” agent? Is that like Pledge? Or Swiffers?? I think Taco Bell is in for a big hit here. Even if the court dosen’t agree on the false advertising claim, the publicity will be a killer for them. And if they are putting that stuff in their tacos and calling it beef, then they deserve what they get!

  2. When you go to Taco Bell, I think you pretty much know this going in. But, we humans are good at suspending our disbelief, and, like eating hot dogs of unknown providence, we embrace the fiction and pray to whatever gods we hold dear that this thing we’re cramming into our heads doesn’t kill us.

    In that respect, eating at Taco Bell really isn’t all that different from a Keanu Reeves movie.

  3. So much for the YUM!Brand corporation – I try not to eat corporate food except for an occasional Five Guy’s hamburger.

  4. rafflaw,

    It’s not just Taco Bell that uses a lot of non-meat ingredients in their meat products. Have you read Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma?” In the book, Pollan lists the thirty-eight ingredients that go into the making of Chicken McNuggets. He wrote that thirteen of the ingredients are derived from corn–and that McNuggets also contain “several completely synthetic ingredients, quasi-edible substances that come not from a corn or soybean field but from a petroleum refinery or chemical plant.”

    Note: The section of my comment in quotes can be found on page 113 of the paperback edition of Pollan’s book.

  5. I don’t know the size of the “Tacos” at your local Taco Bell ,but here in Jersey you have to but at least five tacos to equal one taco in my estimation that’s how small they are.

  6. I can now nosh on the Taco without guilt. Seems like it might actually be healthier than a hamburger.

    Swarthmore Mom:

    5 guys is very good, especially the fries. I thought they were a franchise?

  7. I don’t eat fast food so I guess I’m out of the class-action.

    It doesn’t surprise me that with all those carefully crafted words, Rob Poetsch never actually mentions beef. Just another corporate snow-job.

    I might give 5 Guys a try considering SwM (who I trust)recommends it … and I take note she wrote “occasionally”.

  8. Not that I eat fast food all that often, but I’m a big fan of “Good Times,” which as last I heard is limited to Colorado and Wyoming.

    Honestly, white-tail makes the best burgers I’ve ever had, and if I’m going out I want something better than fast food.

  9. Elaine and Blouise-

    My cooking skills are only slightly less pathetic than my computer skills. I used to make meat loaf and French toast until Mrs. Hormel and Aunt Jemima relieved me of the necessity. Now my most complicated cooking project is making Mrs. Pillsbury’s nut bread or lemon-poppy seed bread- and I no longer have to worry about being randomly drug tested at work after having the lemon-poppy seed bread for breakfast. (Reminds me of a story) For about ten years I had 14 over-the-road semi drivers working for me, but only one of them started at 8A.M.,which is when they always did the random drug tests. I always got a call (4 times a year) to send a transport driver for a random test. The result over the ten years was that one driver got 40 random drug tests and the other 13 got a grand total of zero. Fortunately, the driver who got tested was a good natured guy who found it as hilarious as I did.

    (Oh, these old guys and their boring stories!)

  10. I, too, would like to know the purpose of “anti-dusting” agent. I “googled” it. Sold by lots of firms, but no explanation.

  11. Add to Favorites Anti-dustting agent (CA-750(ECO)) ​2 Similar from this Supplier
    Surfactants blends. Dirt repellent treatment for all kinds of dyes dry mixing….
    Classification: Chemical Auxiliary Agent
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    RelatedKeywords: Anti-dustting Agent

  12. Just goes to prove that if you want good, fast real beef tacos . . . you have to make them at home! Thank goodness for Ole Elpaso!

  13. The court ruling will just give other corporations the know how to get around the law while Taco Bell will see reduced sales until americans forget about the anti dusting agent. Just another set of big wigs getting attacked b/c somebody had money to uncover the truth. The only thing we regret is we will still eat things were not meant to b/c people with money just want more and people without money just want to be fed after a 12 hour day in belief people would not sale them a lie. May God have mercy on the souls of corporate America, they will need it!

  14. Over a decade ago I was a regular customer at Taco Hell they used to have a chicken burrito for 99 cents it was well apportioned with chicken and sauce. It disappeared from the menu, reappeared about 6 months to a year later with it being about half the size and now $1.99. Essentially they had quadrupled the price of it. Jay Leno used to crack jokes about their portions. Taco Hell must honestly think their customers are stupid. I’ve never been back since.

  15. knowing that it’s not all beef makes it more appealing to me because 65% less cows will have to die any time I feel like eating a taco😛 yum

  16. Dusting agent??? I always suspected that Taco Hell uses ground up Chihuahua meat, maybe there’s some truth to that.

  17. I had a high school chemistry teacher who used to do the flour explosion “experiment”. Had something to do with a candle in a paint can and some flour, all I remember is it made a heck of an explosion.

    Pouring 100 lb bags of powdered spices and corn starch around all day would make some nasty clouds. I don’t care if it’s powdered filet mignon, nobody wants to be breathing that. Have we learned nothing from popcorn lung?

    The dreaded anti-dusting agent “soybean oil” – they just mix it with powdered stuff so it doesn’t “poof” so much.

    http://antidusting.com/anti-dusting-agent

    Here’s a commercial product:

    http://www.amcan-ingredients.com/pages/amcasunuk.htm

    Now calm down:)

  18. Scott B.:
    FYI – from the Old El Paso seasoning mix packet
    INGREDIENTS:
    Maltodextrin, salt, chili pepper, onion powder, spice, monosodium glutamate, corn starch, yellow corn flour, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, silicon dioxide (anticaking agent), natural flavor, ethoxyquin (preservative).

  19. A manager of a TB once told my brother who he knew personally that he knew of an incident where an employee intentonally put human crap in a burrito.

    I and my wife were at that same Taco Bell years later and as we were eating a girl from a table next to ours suddenly says “OH MY GOD! There’s gum in my burrito!”. I looked over and saw her opening it up and we could see it, a big disgusting wad of chewing gum. She did not look like the kind itching for a lawsuit. She meekly took her burrito to the counter and pointed it our. I heard no apology from anyone. They just gave her another burrito. And kept it quiet.

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  23. this is crazy taco bell is making a serious fight on the meat products they serve i find it stupid that these idiots will just stop getting these products and serve real meat and i really like their crunchwrap now because this information my family is not going to eat there ever again even a crybaby wants it i hate taco bell

  24. “Pink slime”….

    “….fast-food giants McDonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell announced they will no longer use a controversial beef product produced by food behemoth Beef Products Inc. (BPI). At one time, the ammoniated beef product – beef trimmings known in the industry as ‘pink slime’ – could be found in approximately 80 percent of the hamburgers consumed in the United States, including those served at fast-food restaurants and through the national school lunch program. ”

    http://foodwhistleblower.org/blog/23-2012/264-ammoniated-beef-whistleblower-vindicated-by-fast-food-industrys-move

    Excerpt:

    In the waning days of 2011, fast-food giants McDonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell announced they will no longer use a controversial beef product produced by food behemoth Beef Products Inc. (BPI). At one time, the ammoniated beef product – beef trimmings known in the industry as ‘pink slime’ – could be found in approximately 80 percent of the hamburgers consumed in the United States, including those served at fast-food restaurants and through the national school lunch program. While some media outlets raised public awareness regarding potential dangers associated with the product, the Government Accountability Project (GAP) also recognizes the role of the BPI whistleblower who reported the company’s practices.

    Kit Foshee, BPI Whistleblower, is a former Corporate Quality Assurance Manager at BPI, the nation’s leading producer of “lean boneless beef.” He says he was terminated for refusing to participate in his company’s alleged knowing misrepresentation of microbial data to the USDA and alleged false claims made to customers about the product’s safety. (end of excerpt)

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