SYRACUSE — Taco Bell has recalled 2.3 million pounds of ground beef after a customer reported metal shavings in a serving of meat.

The fast food chain says it “took immediate action and voluntarily recalled” seasoned beef, which came in 5-pound bags produced between Sept. 20 and Oct. 4.

As a result, seasoned ground beef has been pulled from the menu at restaurants in 21 states, including New York. That means a wide variety of restaurant offerings, including quesadillas, tacos and chalupas, will temporarily require substitutions like refried beans or chicken.

NBC reports some customers have complained about not being able to order beef and charged extra for some other meat options, such as chicken.

Taco Bell did not say how long the beef shortage could last. The beef containers, produced by Kenosha Beef International, were shipped to distribution centers in Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Virginia, before being sent to restaurants in the eastern Midwest, northern Southeast and Northeast regions.

USA Today reports some Taco Bell locations initially began pushing customers to try chicken or steak Saturday due to “quality concerns” in the seasoned beef. The company said 100 percent of affected restaurants confirmed Monday that the recalled product has been removed and discarded.

“Nothing is more important than our customers’ safety, and nothing means more to us than their trust,” Julie Masino, President of North America, Taco Bell Corp, said in a statement. “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.”

The USDA said it has not had any confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of the recalled products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

Customers may also contact Taco Bell customer service at (800) 822-6235 from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Jim Eckstrom is executive editor of the Olean Times Herald and Bradford Publishing Co. His email is jeckstrom@oleantimesherald.com.)

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