Bad News for Taco Bell as It Feels Heat From Chipotle


Taco Bell’s got a clear-cut messaging assignment: convincing customers that its food is safe to eat after Food Safety News identified the fast food chain as the mystery restaurant responsible for a salmonella outbreak across 10 states late in 2011.

On Jan. 19, the Centers for Disease Control reported a slew of illnesses that affected 68 diners in October and November of 2011. Referring to the offending restaurant as “Restaurant Chain A,” the report said that the illnesses had subsided and that the restaurant in question was no longer in danger of selling contaminated food. The report also said that the problem likely happened before the food even reached the restaurants, reported the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 2.

After Food Safety News revealed that many of the victims had eaten at Taco Bell during the outbreak, the company released a statement saying it takes its food quality and safety very seriously and that the public is not at risk now that the outbreak has passed. The company also reiterated CDC’s belief that the contamination “likely occurred at the supplier level before it was delivered to any restaurant or food outlet.”

Unfortunately for Taco Bell, that might not be enough. As the sole consumer-facing company in this food supply chain, Taco Bell might be subject to the most criticism over the contaminated food—even though it wasn’t directly at fault. The company can take this opportunity to earn consumer trust by showing how it will prevent future incidents of food contamination—even at the supplier level.

The Los Angeles Times notes how Taco Bell has recently started to offer healthier options in order to compete with Chipotle Mexican Grill—a restaurant chain known for valuing healthy ingredients above all else. For this new initiative to succeed, regaining customer trust will be more important than ever.

Follow Sahil Patel: @sizpatel
 


Comments Off



Deals of the Week

$150 Off PR News' Social Media Summit

socialmedia201602-180x150Join PR News in Huntington Beach, CA on Feb. 26 for the Social Media Summit, where you'll be immersed in real-world, tactical case studies from brands, nonprofits and agencies and get takeaways in pulling and analyzing social media data; emerging social platforms and apps and so much more. 

Use code “150” at checkout to save $150 o the regular rate.

$50 off the CSR & Green PR Guidebook

csr_vol7_print_digital-thumbPR News’ CSR & Green PR Guidebook, Vol. 7 captures best practices in communicating the positive relationships that organizations are building with their communities of interest. This six-chapter guidebook connects the dots between the effective communication of positive social contributions and corresponding improvements in bottom lines.

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription

cover5.18

 

Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

Comments are closed.