05 February 2011 ~ 18 Comments

Taco Bell: Not so gluten-free

Being unable to eat gluten makes eating fast food difficult. Those types of restaurants only succeed by serving a limited variety of foods to the largest number of people; they simply can’t deal with food sensitivities or allergies. The one fast food restaurant I usually felt comfortable with was Taco Bell, because afterall – tortillas are made with corn, right? (Well, the hard tacos, anyway).

Hearing about the recent lawsuit against Taco Bell‘s beef content in the US had me curious – what is really in the beef at Taco Bell?

The Taco Bell website actually has a great section on food allergies and sensitivities (pdf). However, the information wasn’t quite what I wanted to see. The only item that didn’t contain wheat and gluten was the nachos and cheese. The hard tacos and nachos do not contain any wheat ingredients, however according to this list of ingredients the beef does.

So, looks like I won’t be visiting Taco Bell again any time soon. But that’s ok, cuz I’ve recently discovered an authentic Mexican restaurant in town, so perhaps that will be my replacement.

18 Responses to “Taco Bell: Not so gluten-free”

  1. Mike 12 March 2013 at 5:05 am Permalink

    I was so focused on the shell, I didn’t even think of the beef. That’s gross. Does that mean you could have a hard shell tack and grilled chicken or steak? Or they too are so processed that they have wheat also?

    • Dawn Wentzell 12 March 2013 at 8:13 am Permalink

      I honestly don’t know what goes into their chicken unfortunately. I’ve stopped going to taco bell altogether since this.

  2. isabella hawki s 26 October 2013 at 12:05 am Permalink

    I did not know that either. And appreciate the info. Also though. Here at my local taco bell. I had asked the manager about the Doritos shells. He stated that he could sell me some if they had extras. They are .40 a piece ( I am in Oregon) and he did warn me that they do not have a long shelf life.

    So I started getting some of the shells when I make tacos as a treat.

  3. Shelby 3 April 2014 at 6:32 pm Permalink

    I tried the hard tacos with chicken instead of beef and had no issues. I’m not celiac, just very sensitive to wheat. I order the tostadas or hard shell chicken tacos. Yum!

  4. Joanne 5 November 2015 at 11:28 am Permalink

    I had a taco yesterday, thinking that couldn’t hurt me, and now here I sit in so much pain I can barely move. Why in the HELL is there flour in the meat????? I am furious, and my day off will be spent in bed. NOT OK!

    • Dawn Wentzell 6 November 2015 at 9:29 am Permalink

      Oh no! So sorry to hear that, Joanne πŸ™

      It’s always difficult with fast-food places. The shortcuts they take to make things cheap…

  5. Lucy 6 April 2016 at 9:28 pm Permalink

    I had no idea that their beef had wheat in it. My bad I didn’t ask. I was so concerned about tortilla being corn snd then unfortunately gotten sick after eating tacos…too bad..what can I say..no moe Taco Bell for me

    • Dawn Wentzell 7 April 2016 at 1:02 pm Permalink

      Oh no! So sorry to hear that πŸ™

      I recently saw a chef on TV saw something like “Why do companies need to say ice cream is gluten free? Of course ice cream is gluten free!”, but unfortunately with foods being so highly processed, you never really know what they’re hiding them. And sometimes there’s gluten in ice cream, too!

      • Kristin 14 December 2016 at 8:19 pm Permalink

        Unfortunately, due to the “add-ins” in ice cream such as cookies, cake, etc. there is a risk with ice cream.

  6. Annette 9 November 2016 at 7:20 pm Permalink

    One thing that I do know about Taco Bell’s meat is that it contains wood pulp as a filler along with gluten!
    Any cost cutting measure to make it go further, I guess!? Crazy!!! It’s no wonder people have cancer and food illnesses!!! If we only knew, all the ingredients in our food!

    • Kristin 14 December 2016 at 8:21 pm Permalink

      Wood pulp?!? Ugh! Is there a fancy ingredient name under which wood pulp is issued? That would be something to watch for. Buy hey, at least it is “all natural!” Lol

  7. Pedro Pernia 18 February 2017 at 9:34 pm Permalink

    My son is wheat allergic amd just tasted the hard shell and he reacted, meaning that wheat must be contained in some degree.

  8. BD from SD 22 February 2017 at 9:58 pm Permalink

    I have been having problems with gluten for just over 3 years.
    I was bummed to find out TB uses wheat as a filler in their ground beef.
    The same for Greek restaurants in their Yeros.
    Sorry to say, the problem is us.
    We get sick, we want to sue.
    It is NOT the world’s problem to watch what we eat, it is ours.

    It is easier for them not to offer any GF food.
    Even if the food is GF, they don’t prepare it correctly.
    I went into a local pizza place to try their GF pizza.
    The person ahead of me ordered one.
    They put their GF dough on the same counter they just put flour all over a regular pizza.

    Don’t eat out, ever. If you have to go to a social thing like a wedding or a work party, just take a few protein bars.
    I have reduced to one meal a day.
    I don’t feel good, but I feel less bad.
    The less you eat, the less it hurts.

    It is your life.
    Take charge.
    No one cares more about you than you.

    • Dawn Smith 23 February 2017 at 10:50 am Permalink

      You’re absolutely right, BDβ€”it’s our own disease/intolerance/allergy/sensitivity, so it’s our responsibility to take care of ourselves, however you need to. For some people, like you, that may mean not eating out. For others, it’s being aware of what your restaurant meal is made with and how it’s prepared.

  9. Brenda 9 April 2017 at 3:29 pm Permalink

    It’s probably the spices they use that has wheat. Most pre-package spices to have gluten as I am finding out.

    I am sincerely bummed to know they have it in their meat since it was the only fast food I thought I could eat at. Ate there today and haven’t felt right since. Now I know why.

  10. Kat 7 June 2017 at 9:42 am Permalink

    I am Celiac and I eat at Taco Bell all the time. If you get any of the hard-shell tacos (Doritos included), just swap the beef for chicken, shredded chicken, or refried beans. I’m very sensitive and used to have issues when I ate the beef, and then one day their ingredients list clarified that “oats” was “wheat”. So NO BEEF, but the chicken and beans have given me no issues.

    I also eat the chips and cheese, or nachos supreme (with chicken or just beans) without issue.


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