A Taco Bell Worker Was Supposedly Forced To Sell Expired Beef

A Taco Bell worker from Green Bay, Wisconsin has gone viral after posting a TikTok video on March 15 stating that the employee was allegedly forced to use expired meat and ingredients in food. The viral video has over 473,000 views, 6,000 comments, and 42,000 likes as of March 28. 

Taco Bell's beef and food quality standards is frequently the subject of litigation and controversy in the public eye. The Mexican-inspired fast food chain was sued by an Alabama law firm in a class-action lawsuit in 2011, which claimed Taco Bell's "seasoned beef" was only 35 percent beef and not real beef at all. Taco Bell claimed victory in the lawsuit when the law firm withdrew the case.

"We stand behind the quality of every single one of our ingredients, including our seasoned beef, and we want consumers to know that we didn't change our marketing or product because we've always been completely transparent," Greg Creed, Chief Executive Office, Taco Bell said at the time in 2011. Taco Bell has yet to comment publicly on these new TikTok allegations from a fast food worker about expired beef.

The Viral TikTok Video In Question

The fast food worker, whose username is @keep_it_real4life, states in the video, "Our area coach came in last night and told us we have to use beef that expired." The worker continues, "We got onions that we have to use because they don't want to throw it out because of food costs. But what about customer safety? Like, this stuff can get people really sick. Like, really sick."

Users on TikTok responded to the video with dismay with one user telling the worker to "contact the health department immediately," and another user saying, "I was fired for refusing to sell outdated food. Save EVERYTHING. I won my case." Some users chided the poster and asked how it was possible that food was not being sold with how busy Taco Bell locations tend to be.

TikTok is frequently used by employees to share content and has become the subject of large public relations scandals. Employees have been fired from major restaurants, tech companies, and other businesses for things said and recorded on the growing platform. The social media platform now has 150 million active daily users in the United States, according to a TikTok video from CEO Shou Zi Chew. 

Worker Claims Taco Bell Terminated Employment

The Taco Bell employee posted a follow-up TikTok video on March 19, and said their employer terminated them for posting the video about being forced to sell the allegedly expired food and also expressed concern that Taco Bell allegedly threatened to sue the store worker if they kept their video on TikTok.

"She called me and said I'm fired. I said that's fine, but what about what you told the employees, and she ended up hanging up on me. She didn't want to talk about it." The worker continued, "they said they are aware of the TikTok video, but if I don't take it down they could sue me." The worker mentioned in the video that they never expected the video to go as viral as it did. Despite the interest of the public in the location of the Taco Bell in question, the former employees aid they will not be revealing the location.

A similar story has happened previously in Minnesota. In 2017, Taco Bell's franchise, Border Foods, fired a Columbia Heights manager who allegedly documented that a Taco Bell franchise was serving expired food and fraudently changing expiration dates, according to Hometown Source. The manager sued Taco Bell for wrongful termination and sought damages citing the Minnesota Whistleblower Act and a jury trial, according to a complaint filed by Schaefer Halleen. It remains to be seen what will happen in either case.