Taco Bell Uses Oats as a Preservative

I just received this email from a reader named Shauna today. She had a terrible reaction after eating at Taco Bell.

I am 31 years old and highly allergic to oats. I ate at Taco Bell and wound up with a reaction so bad that I wound up in the emergency room after giving myself an epi-pen injection and had to have several breathing treatments. Turns out that Taco Bell uses oats in their meat to make it go further. I just wanted to warn you and others with oat allergies.

Thanks for the note, Shauna. One actual advantage of eating fast food (probably the only one, besides convenience) is that the chains tend to list their ingredients online. I skipped over to tacobell.com and looked up their ingredients list (direct link to PDF here). Quite a bit of oats in there.

Seasoned Beef Beef, Water, Seasoning [Isolated Oat Product, Salt, Chili Pepper, Onion Powder, Tomato Powder, Oats, Soy Lecithin, Toasted Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Maltodextrin, Sugar, Soybean Oil (Anti-Dusting Agent), Black Pepper, Oregano, Cumin, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Citric Acid, Caramel Color, Cocoa Powder (Processed With Alkali), Lactic Acid, Natural Flavors, Natural Smoke Flavor, Modified Corn Starch], Salt, Sodium Phosphate. CONTAINS SOYBEAN, GLUTEN 

Furthermore, I saw oats and oat product in the chili and oat fiber in the taco shell.We rarely eat out for this very issue, but we certainly gravitate towards establishments that publish their ingredients online.

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8 responses to “Taco Bell Uses Oats as a Preservative

  1. I have recently found out (the hard way, with a trip to the E.R.) that certain beer companies use oats to add a sweeter fuller flavor to their recipe. The problem is the companies aren’t requiered to list all the ingredients on the label.
    I am so apprehensive about eating and drinking anything that I’ve just resigned myself to not consume anything that has a incomplete list of contents on the label.

  2. This answers so many questions!!!!!! I had no idea why beer gave me such a hard time! Thank you for sharing the info!!!

  3. BTW – Corona has no oats. Wahoo!

  4. Which companies do use oats?

  5. thank you for the heads up!!
    we LOVE taco bell (where else can you grab a quick, semi-healthy family meal for under $10??) but i have noticed that there are times when my ASD/Tourette’s son seems rather ticcy and spazzy afterward, also i tend to gravitate to the bean burritos bcoz my tum doesnt always feel that well after the tacos… i thought maybe the salicylates in the hot sauce might be aggravating my boy’s sensitivities but it doesnt always happen so i wasnt sure…
    anyway, we are all oat sensitive in my family (not celiac- just oat), digestive upset plus very much can cause manic emotional reactions, especially for the son i mentioned.
    thanx to your post, now i know which menu items are to be avoided on our visits to Taco Bell!!

  6. Ugg. Who would have known that their “beef” contained oats. What the heck?! :p I just read an article on the LA times site that said they only have about 15% beef in their “seasoned ground beef”. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it’s pretty sad if so.

  7. No quiero Vena Bell!

    In light of the bad press that parent company Yum! Brand’s Taco Bell is getting with Beefie Gate, it’s shocking they’re threatening to sue their customer for going public. I think this may be a symptom of so-called “Holding” companies owning multiple consumer brands, never having built the companies or ever having a vested interest in serving the consumer.

  8. Last May I tried some granola from a health food store bin. After eating half a bowl, I felt extremely dizzy. One of the main ingredients was hemp seed; since I rarely eat that I assumed it was the culprit. Later that summer I realized that beer seemed to give me very serious stomach problems. A few months after the incident I was placed on a gluten free diet. But I cooked myself up some quaker oats one day to see how it affected me, if at all. Three spoonfuls later my throat started swelling alarmingly so I’m careful to avoid oats now! Surprisingly I have no reaction to beauty products.

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