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Taco Bell offers its friends a free taco

Big giveaway is part of chain's response to 'where's the beef' lawsuit.

By Teresa Mears Feb 8, 2011 8:22PM

Taco Bell has a gift for its friends: a free taco.

As a thank you to those who have supported the restaurant company in its fight against a lawsuit that said the "seasoned ground beef" in its menu items doesn't contain enough beef, Taco Bell is offering a free Crunchy Seasoned Beef Taco to its Facebook fans, or at least the first 10 million of them.

"Thanks so much for your support!" Taco Bell writes on the coupon. "You rock! Enjoy a free taco on us!"

Of course, if you agree with Amanda Obney, who sued Taco Belll claiming false advertising, you probably don't want a Taco Bell taco, even if it's free. Obney's suit argues that Taco Bell's "seasoned ground beef" doesn't meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture standards to be called by that name and should be called "taco meat filling." Her lawyers say it's about 35% beef, plus binders and extenders.

"You can't call it beef by definition," W. Daniel "Dee" Miles III, one of her attorneys, told the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel. "It's junk. I wouldn't eat it." Post continues after video.

Taco Bell has vociferously denied that it's stiffing customers on the beef, taking out advertisements defending its "seasoned ground beef" as 88% beef, and urging its Twitter followers and Facebook fans to advocate on its behalf. The company said in a statement, in part:

We start with 100% USDA-inspected beef. Then we simmer it in our proprietary blend of seasonings and spices to give our seasoned beef its signature Taco Bell taste and texture. We are proud of the quality of our beef and identify all the seasoning and spice ingredients on our website.

Just exactly what's in the seasoned ground beef? You can read Karen's earlier post about the controversy to find the ingredient list. Taco Bell provides additional details about how the seasoned ground beef is prepared.

In this controversy, you get to vote with your fingers. If you like Taco Bell's seasoned ground beef tacos, join the more than 5.4 million fans on the Facebook page and get your coupon for a free taco. If you're still asking "where's the beef?" you don't need the coupon.

More from MSN Money:

Feb 9, 2011 7:53AM
What do people think they're getting in a 99 cent taco?  100% Grade A sirloin?  Geez, some lawsuits are just downright stupid.
Feb 8, 2011 11:13PM
Nice of Taco Bell to think of their customers that don't have Facebook accounts. Is there not enough beef to go around for everybody?
Feb 9, 2011 1:08PM
If you don't like the food, don't eat there.  I don't understand the douche bag sue-happy mentality that many people have nowadays. 

I mean, McDonalds is even getting sued for giving toys away in Happy Meals.  Seriously?

"The suit, which seeks class-action status, was filed in California on behalf of Monet Parham, a Sacramento mother who said the Happy Meals make it "so much harder" for her to say no when her children beg her to take them to McDonald's."

Learn how to parent your children.  You are the adult, and they obey you.  Perhaps you should watch Super Nanny.  I think I'll sue the Ohio Department of Transportation for me being late to work because of a traffic jam that a car accident caused.
Feb 9, 2011 12:38PM
I don't care if just looks like meat, is near meat, almost meat, used to be meat, or never was meat.  Whatever it is currently, it looks good, tastes good, and fits my budget.  I'm on Taco Bell's side.
Feb 9, 2011 10:52AM
Not commenting on the quailty of Taco Bell but any post on their serving Grade D beef is untrue. There is no such thing as Grade D meat. The USDA does not grade by letter. It's either Prime - Choice - Select or Standard.  
Feb 9, 2011 10:43AM
Dennis.... worm meat in McD beef.. really? I don't know why I'm still surprised by by the intelligence level of some of those living on this planet. Email me, I'll send you info on flat earth insurance, in case you ever drive off the edge, and my cousin in Nigeria who comes from the ruling class needs $10,000 to get out of the country, but he has millions in bank accounts that he can access once he flees the country and will gladly give you half if you help him out now. Western Union only please. Ignorance, stupidity, and the willingness to sue for every imagined slight, mistake, or any other reason goes hand in hand in this country.

Feb 9, 2011 9:48AM
@sfort-What did you expect to get for around 99 cents?  What you ordered was their smallest order of nachos which come with only a side of cheese sauce.  If you wanted a platter you should have ordered the next size up.  People expect too much these days and are always looking for ways to sue others.  This is just ridiculous that you emailed the corporate office over a small 99 cent bag of nachos.  I can't believe the nerve of some people.
Feb 9, 2011 8:28AM


The last time I ate at Taco Bell it was delicious.  Less than 2 wks. ago.

Feb 9, 2011 12:13AM

I don't think it really matters what it is made of because here in Maine they put so little of it in the taco that you can't taste it anyway. Every one of their taco's should be filled at least twice as much as they are....BIG RIP OFF to buy any of them really. The only item on the menu that is "filled" is the salad....They should be ashamed of themselves for selling something for dollars that is only worth cents....Ridiculous.  I have had tacos out of state and believe me there is a huge difference...those are filled and you get your money's worth.

I stopped going there...

Feb 9, 2011 8:36AM
Sfort, I don't mean to be cynical but do you think the person working at Taco Bell for minimum wage really cares about customer satisfaction?  In my experience, the best Mexican food (or any type of food for that matter) is found at small family-run restaurants where they genuinely care about your dining experience.
Feb 9, 2011 2:19AM
Yea, thanks Taco Bell... offer free tacos to your "Facebook zombies" but not the rest of the American people! What a great way to show us what you're really "made" of.
Feb 9, 2011 12:59PM
Same thing with taco meat. We make them all the time at my house. We start with 100% ground beef (chuck). We then add the taco seasoning packet (same/similar ingredients to the one taco bell uses). You then add water and simmer.
The beef cooks down, and it's fat gets separated. In the end, you get tasty taco meat. But by weight, the beef is much lower than when you started, and if you count all the water (including what is in the beef) you will find the beef is only one half or less of the finished taco meat.
i dont know you guys,but for me TB`s chalupa is the best thing out there.
Feb 9, 2011 1:10PM
Feb 8, 2011 11:30PM

Legal terms "Start" with 100% beef...BS

Feb 9, 2011 12:44PM
First, to anyone who says they have seen grade "D" beef:
You are a liar or a gullible simpleton who will believe anything.
There is no grade "D".
Anyone who is around cattle knows that Prime, Choice, and Select graded beef is almost 99% of the entire beef output.
I don't think there is anyone commercially producing any grade under Standard in the US.
Cattle genetics and feed have come a long way.
We just don't raise skinny, old cattle - there's no money in that.
So next time you hear someone talk about grade "D" beef, you know you are talking to someone without a clue.

Feb 9, 2011 1:41AM
Well, that stinks. I've got a FB account, but I don't have a printer!  Sounds like you have to download the coupon and print it biggie. They're only $89/taco where I live.
Feb 9, 2011 12:45PM
i dont understand people. its a freaking fast food restaurant! do you really expect prime choice ground beef (and nothing else) in your taco for only 99 cents? i love Taco Bell and will continue to eat there but the key is...get ready...MODERATION! just like with everything else in life too much is bad for you and why some people think Taco Bell doesnt fall under this category i will never understand. if you wont even take the time to look into what you're really eating (when it is easily found online), why do you expect a million dollar company to do it for you?!  

and to the "discrimination" want a free taco sign up for a free facebook account. suck it up & quit being a baby...its not discrimination when you have the same opportunity as everyone else to get something but chose not to out of a stubborn "i dont want to do that" mentality.
Better read the fine print on that coupon. I bet is over 50 pages and says something about not being eligable for a class action suit.
Feb 9, 2011 12:25PM
Moogie, for a million dollars, I'd eat a jar of mayonnaise chased down with a bottle of Tabasco sauce.
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