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Taco Bell Becomes the Least Surprising Company to Be Dragged Into the Horse Meat Scandal

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The company is not very popular in Britain, and this certainly won't help.

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Taco Bell has officially joined Club Horse Meat. The fast-food chain and subsidiary of Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM) says it has found horse meat in some of the ground beef it sells in the United Kingdom. The British Food Standards Agency said Taco Bell's products contained more than 1% horse meat.

"We apologize to our customers and take this matter very seriously as food quality is our highest priority," a spokesman for the chain said. The company says it has withdrawn all horse-y beef from sale at its three UK outlets-two of which are in Essex, and one in Manchester.

Which raises a question: Is it more surprising that Taco Bell's been selling horse meat-or that the UK has Taco Bell at all? Sure, the mastermind behind the Double-Decker Taco Supreme is a fast-food mainstay in the US. But do gorditas really sell in the land of fish and chips? As it turns out, not really. Mexican food-or at least Taco Bell's and Chipotle's (NYSE:CMG) interpretation of it-has consistently failed to convert Brits. In fact, Taco Bell's first attempt at a beef taco invasion in the 1980s ended in defeat by the mid-'90s. This second try started in 2010. And given today's news, Taco Bell might be galloping toward another end.

This story by Lily Kuo originally appeared on Quartz.

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