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Taco Bell becomes the least surprising company to be dragged into the horse meat scandal

By Lily Kuo
EnglandPublished Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Taco Bell has officially joined Club Horse Meat. The fast-food chain and subsidiary of Yum Brands says it has found horse meat in some of the ground beef it sells in the United Kingdom. The British Food Standards Agency said Taco Bell’s products contained more than 1% (pdf) horse meat.

“We apologize to our customers and take this matter very seriously as food quality is our highest priority,” a spokesman for the chain said. The company says it has withdrawn all horse-y beef from sale at its three UK outlets—two of which are in Essex, and one in Manchester.

Which raises a question: is it more surprising that Taco Bell’s been selling horse meat—or that the UK has Taco Bell at all? Sure, the mastermind behind the Double-Decker Taco Supreme is a fast-food mainstay in the US. But do gorditas really sell in the land of fish and chips? As it turns out, not really. Mexican food—or at least Taco Bell’s and Chipotle’s interpretation of it—has consistently failed to convert Brits. In fact, Taco Bell’s first attempt at a beef taco invasion in the 1980s ended in defeat by the mid-90s. This second try started in 2010. And given today’s news, Taco Bell might be galloping toward another end.

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