Taco Bell Recalled 2.3 Million Pounds of Beef from Restaurants in 21 States
The Yum! Brands' Mexican food chain, Taco Bell, seems to have moved swiftly and exhibited an abundance of caution with its response, this still could weigh heavily on its performance.
Another recall so soon after Taco Bell's "tortillapocalypse," when it ran out of the tortillas used across most of its menus. If the consumer loses confidence in the brand you may see a simliar effect as what occured with Chipotle recently. In Chipotle's case, an outbreak of food-borne illness ended up decimating sales and causing the stock to crater.
Taco Bell said the seasoned beef recall started when it received a complaint from a customer who reported finding metal shavings in his food, meat used in the chain's taco and burrito dishes.
As soon as the first report came in, Taco Bell acted immediately removing possibly contaminated beef from all restaurants in states it was shipped. The final tally of complaints reached three according to the Food Safety & Inspection Service of the U.S. Agricultural Department, and no illnesses or adverse reactions were reported, yet still the Taco Bell supplier Kenosha Beef ordered a recall.
Yum! Brands made a comprehensive response to what seems to be an isolated issue. However the E. coli-related and other food-borne illness outbreaks that swept over Chipotle might also have been isolated issues, though it did end up changing some operational practices.
These issues at Taco Bell, the tortilla shortage and meat recall had an impact on sales. Taco Bell's North American president, Julie Masino, said in a statement, "Nothing is more important than our customers' safety, and nothing means more to us than their trust. 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."
Serving 290 million pounds annually, Taco Bell is a large beef purchaser (McDonald's is the biggest with over a billion pounds), so the current issue affects less than 1% of its total.