Taco Bell has stopped serving seasoned beef at dozens of restaurant locations across the United States over concerns the meat product may be contaminated with metal shavings.
The fast-food chain announced Tuesday that it had voluntarily recalled 2.3 million pounds of seasoned beef from restaurants and distribution centers in 21 U.S. states after a customer reported finding a metal shaving in a menu item last Friday.
By Monday, 100% of the product had been removed and discarded from the affected locations, Taco Bell said.
“Nothing is more important than our customers’ safety, and nothing means more to us than their trust,” Julie Masino, president of North America for Taco Bell Corp., said in a statement Tuesday. “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.”
The product in question was produced at one plant location on only one of two lines used to make the seasoned beef that Taco Bell uses in its tacos and burritos. The product was sent to distribution centers in Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Virginia, according to Taco Bell.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Monday that Kenosha Beef International, which is based in Columbus, Ohio, is recalling "an undetermined amount of seasoned beef products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically metal shavings." The problem was discovered when the firm notified the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service that it received three customer complaints.
"There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products," the USDA said in a press release Monday. "Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider."
The affected items are cases containing eight 5-lbs. bags of "TACO BELL SEASONED BEEF taco and Burrito Filling," which were produced between Sept. 20 and Oct. 4. The product was shipped to five distribution centers and restaurant locations nationwide. The recalled cases bear establishment number EST. 10130, according to the USDA.
The USDA also noted that its Food Safety and Inspection Service is "concerned that some product may be in restaurant refrigerators."
"Restaurants who have purchased these products are urged not to serve them," the USDA said. "These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase."