Industry News | October 13, 2000

Taco Bell Shells Deemed Safe

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Taco Bell Corp. today reiterated that its restaurant taco shells are perfectly safe to eat, and are a different product than the supermarket taco shells recalled by Kraft and Safeway. The announcement was prompted by the September discovery that shells bearing the Taco Bells name on grocery store shelves contained bioengineered corn unapproved for human consumption.

"I want to assure all consumers that Taco Bell's restaurant taco shells are perfectly safe. Our restaurant tacos, sold in all 7,000 Taco Bell restaurants, are made from a different recipe than the Kraft and Safeway supermarket taco products,'' said Emil Brolick, president, Taco Bell Corp. "I am pleased to reassure consumers that Taco Bell's restaurant taco shells are only made with corn approved by the federal government, and show no evidence of Starlink, the unapproved corn variety,'' Brolick added.

"Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our customers,'' Brolick said.

As a precautionary measure, and immediately upon learning of the claims made on Kraft's supermarket taco shells, Taco Bell took the following actions:

• Directed its restaurant taco shell manufacturers to switch their corn flour supply from Texas (the site of potential crop contamination) to mills in other parts of the country;

• Voluntarily replaced all restaurant taco shells at Taco Bell
restaurants with taco shells made from the new corn source—all Taco Bell restaurants began selling those products by September 27; and

• Began regularly testing the new corn source for the presence
of Starlink prior to use in production. The test results conclude the corn used in Taco Bell restaurant taco shells shows no evidence of Starlink.

"We want to remove any doubt in our customers' minds about the safety of our product, and eliminate any confusion about it. Our restaurant tacos are wholesome, delicious, and safe. All our customers can continue to count on Taco Bell to offer nothing but the highest quality ingredients in our restaurants,'' said Brolick.

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.