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It is interesting to note that Taco Bell was the very first Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) chain to offer a vegetarian menu certified by the American Vegetarian Association (AVA). It should be stressed here that the AVA outlines the term "vegetarian" as "lacto-ovo," which allows the ingestion of dairy and egg products, although no other animal by-products come under the list. Nevertheless, the company does mention an open disclaimer on its site that explains;
- The Taco Bell chain of restaurants processes vegetarian food along with menu items that may contain meat.
- Vegetarian ingredients are controlled by the same chefs who prepare menu items that contain meat. So buyer's discretion is needed as some strict vegetarians may find this unacceptable.
- Taco Bell does not guarantee that cross-contamination of vegetarian dishes with meat does not occur as all Taco Bell dishes are prepared at a common facility.
- The disclaimer states that Taco Bell, its employees, and franchisees do not take responsibility for any cross-contamination between vegetarian dishes and meat which may or may not occur.
Nutrition and Calories
Taco Bell is also a proud pioneer of making its nutritional values public as the company was the first Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) to post its complete nutritional values online. It is easy for customers to look up the nutritional information to understand what is in their food. Furthermore, Taco Bell also offers a nutrition calculator so that customers can calculate the total calories that go into their food while they customize it if ordering online.
This highly sought-after food chain operates mainly in the United States and Canada although it also caters to the populations of countries like Australia, Chile, Greece, Russia, Japan, Iceland, Mexico, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Spain, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and a handful of other Asian countries. Popular for its value menu, Taco Bell has acquired a strong customer base by featuring a menu of tacos, quesadillas, nachos, burritos, and numerous other specialty items.
Taco Bell is a subsidiary of PepsiCo, the most popular food, beverage, and snack giant worldwide, and came under Yum! Brands in 1997, which is the current parent company of the Taco Bell chain of restaurants. It also has co-branding partnerships with KFC, Pizza Hut, and Long John Silver - so don't be surprised to find Taco Bell advertised alongside any of these partner food-chain brands.