Update, October 15, 2019: Putting an end to more than 24 hours of speculation, Nation’s Restaurant News reports a metal shaving in Taco Bell’s beef supply caused the recent voluntary recall. A Taco Bell spokesperson told NRN the beef was recalled Friday and replaced Monday “without resulting in any shortages,” though customers’ experiences shared on social media last weekend indicate some stores were out of beef.
Original story, October 14, 2019: Taco Bell overestimates the resilience of the American people if it thinks we can endure both a tortilla shortage and a seasoned beef shortage in the same year. Three months after supply chain issues left some Taco Bell locations on the East Coast and in the Midwest without tortillas for days, Taco Bells in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and other unspecified areas stopped serving seasoned beef this past weekend over concerns about quality standards.
The Associated Press reports that the affected Taco Bells have no seasoned beef available as those locations wait to replenish supplies. The company gave no specifics on the reason for the shortage beyond saying the beef did not meet quality standards.
The beef quality issues have dredged up years-old conspiracy theories about what’s inside Taco Bell’s seasoned beef—conspiracies the company spent a lot of money dispelling. If you want to know what makes up the seasoned beef mixture, First We Feast has a helpful explainer.
Speaking of conspiracies, if the whole shortage ends up being an elaborate stunt to promote the chain’s “new” vegetarian menu, well, you heard it here first.