Taco Bell wants its customers to head for the border — not the hospital.
On Monday, the fast-food chain confirmed that a seasoned-beef recall affecting restaurants in 21 states throughout the Midwest, Southeast and Northeast was due to a “metal shaving” found in a menu item by a customer.
“Nothing is more important than our customers’ safety, and nothing means more to us than their trust,” said Julie Masino, Taco Bell’s North America president, in a press release. “As soon as we received the first consumer complaint, we immediately acted to remove the product from the affected restaurants and proactively worked with the supplier to inform the USDA of our steps to protect our guests.”
Upon being notified of the issue, Taco Bell “immediately” notified the USDA and identified the plant where the beef was processed before shutting down distribution channels. The voluntary recall, which was issued on Oct. 11, affects an estimated 2.3 million pounds of beef.
Customers first began taking note of a beef shortage at their local Taco Bells over the weekend, with some in disbelief that the chain would run out of one of its most popular ingredients.
Taco Bell did not specifically say when the beef would return to stores.
In a statement shared with Fox News ahead of the press release, the fast-food chain said they were working to replenish the supply, and suggested customers try other fillings in the meantime.
“While some Taco Bell restaurants in the eastern Midwest and Northeast regions may be experiencing a shortage of seasoned beef, we are working diligently to replenish the supply in those restaurants and encourage fans to try any of our other delicious proteins like shredded chicken or steak in the meantime. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause and appreciate our customers’ patience.”
As of Monday, Taco Bell had said no customers had reported any injuries or adverse reactions to the beef, and any who do should contact a health-care provider.
Customers with further questions or concerns were directed to the chain’s hotline at 1-800-TACO-BELL.
Fox News' Alexandra Deabler and the Associated Press contributed to this report.