LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – It's the center of several Taco Bell ad campaigns, but the restaurant chain's beef is under fire after a recent lawsuit claims it doesn't meet USDA standards.
Louisville based Yum! Brands runs Taco Bell. The lawsuit filed on behalf of a Taco Bell customer does not seek monetary damages, but asks the restaurant to change their advertising.
Some of the people we talked to weren't exactly surprised that the fast food chain's beef is under the microscope.
Whether it's a fourth meal, or just a quick bite to eat on the go, there's a good chance you've made a run to the border.
"I like it, I guess, enough to eat it, maybe about once a week or so," said Tyler Wilson, Taco Bell customer.
An Alabama law firm is accusing Taco Bell of false advertising saying that what the restaurant calls beef doesn't measure up to USDA requirements.
"A lot of times, the way these lawsuits start, we think, isn't that ridiculous," said Ann Oldfather, a Louisville attorney.
Oldfather is not connected to this case, but she says in the past these types of lawsuits have led to more transparency about the foods we eat.
"We're able to be informed about what we eat and the choices that we make and where we go for our fast food fix and I think that's really important," said Oldfather.
The suit says the popular fast food chain's beef is only 35 percent real, and the rest is fillers, when the USDA requirement is 40 percent.
"The lawsuit alleges that it is mostly oats and wheat and I believe there might also be soybeans in there, so now one most wonder how much of this is beef and I think that is a very legitimate question," said Oldfather.
Some of the folks we talked to aren't exactly surprised this lawsuit is out there and believes there could be some truth to the allegations.
"I mean there is a reason you pay a dollar for a taco, and you just kind of know that going into it I think," said Daniel Chapman, Taco Bell customer.
"If they aren't selling you beef, they shouldn't say beef, if they are selling you enough beef to say beef, where's the beef," asked Oldfather.
Taco Bell is standing behind their product. They released a statement saying they buy their beef from the same trusted brands you find in the supermarket. They went on to say the lawyers in this case elected to sue first and ask questions later and they got their facts wrong.
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