An Alabama law firm claims in a lawsuit that Taco Bell is using false advertising when it refers to using "seasoned ground beef" or "seasoned beef" in its products.
The meat mixture sold by Taco Bell restaurants contains binders and extenders and does not meet the minimum requirements set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be labeled as "beef," according to the legal complaint.
The class-action lawsuit was filed Friday in federal court in the Central District of California by the Montgomery law firm Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles.
Attorney Dee Miles said attorneys had Taco Bell's "meat mixture" tested and found it contained less that 35 percent beef.
The lawsuit on behalf of Taco Bell customer and California resident Amanda Obney does not seek monetary damages, but asks the court to order Taco Bell to be honest in its advertising.
"We are asking that they stop saying that they are selling beef," Miles said.
Irvine, Calif.-based Taco Bell spokesman Rob Poetsch said the company denies that its advertising is misleading.
"Taco Bell prides itself on serving high quality Mexican inspired food with great value. We're happy that the millions of customers we serve every week agree," Poetsch said. He said the company would "vigorously defend the suit."
The lawsuit says that Taco Bell's "seasoned beef" contains other ingredients, including water, wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodrextrin, anti-dusting agent and modified corn starch.
CNY Central is following this story, and will have a nutritionist from St. Joseph's Hospital live on our set this evening to talk about it from a local perspective. Watch NBC3 at 5:25 and CBS5 at 5:30 for more on this subject.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.