'It's Beef Lips': Barbacoa Teeth Fiasco Goes Viral, But Not Without Precedent

Beef Lips, Not Teeth: Barbacoa Teeth Photo Goes Viral, But Not Without Precedent

When a Texas woman ordered barbacoa but got “teeth” inside her tacos, she took to Facebook to complain about the issue. But since the post went viral, the vendor supplying meat to Pflugerville, Texas restaurant El Rincon cleared the air, explaining that it wasn’t teeth that the woman found, but beef lips. And it isn’t the first time either that consumers claims of odd stuff in their food have created a viral sensation.

According to CBS News, Courtney Aguilar had ordered barbacoa tacos at Mexican restaurant El Rincon on Sunday but was shocked to discover that the tacos had some teeth in them. In a Facebook post that she had since made private, she also claimed that the server had told her that it was “baby teeth.”

Since Aguilar took to Facebook to share her claim of finding teeth in her barbacoa, her post has gotten shared by over 2,000 other users. CBS News noted that many of the comments were supportive, with some claiming that they wouldn’t eat at El Rincon again, and one describing the meal as akin to an “alien’s mouth.”

On the other hand, some people have taken to social media to suggest that Aguilar may have been overreacting when she complained about her barbacoa. Teeth may not be among the expected ingredients, but a Facebook user named Lupe Rodriguez was quoted by KVUE as saying that it may have been a sign that the taco was “fresh and the real deal.”

“Somehow people are grossed out by this. But are comfortable eating McDonald’s chicken nuggets or Subway chicken breast that are made out of I don’t know what.”

Then again, it would seem that it may have been a big misunderstanding. Speaking to Houston news outlet KHOU, San Antonio-based meat vendor The Laxson Company, which supplies meat to El Rincon, explained that it wasn’t teeth Courtney Aguilar had found in her barbacoa, and not even bone. According to plant manager Bill Roegelein, it was simply beef lips that she had found, and while it isn’t expected to be found in barbacoa, it is nonetheless edible.

Laxson’s Roegelein also issued a prepared statement confirming that it was just beef lips and not teeth found in the barbacoa taco.

“We admit cow lips are not the most attractive food item and can resemble teeth. Unfortunately, it made its way into this customer’s dish. Our products standards are high. We meticulously scan our product prior to packaging.

“In this instance, an edible-but-unexpected part of the cow made its way into the packaging of our 100 percent Cheek Meat Barbacoa. We’ve spoken to the restaurant owner about his concerns. And we have reinforced our standards of excellence with our plant managers.”

The above case is far from being one without precedent. In 2015, California man Devorise Dixon’s complaint about the chicken tenders he ordered at a Los Angeles Kentucky Fried Chicken had gone viral, as he had noticed something “hard and rubbery” in his tenders. Upon further inspection, the tenders closely resembled a breaded, deep-fried rat, and the uproar over Dixon’s claims had forced KFC to independently test the product. A Daily Mail report detailed how it was ultimately confirmed that the “rat tender” was just an unusually-shaped piece of chicken, as the restaurant “knew all along.”

For a more similar, yet extreme comparison to the recent barbacoa teeth/beef lips controversy, a 2014 report from Crave also offered a long list of alleged instances where customers found weird things in their fast food. These included some far more unusual objects, including a deep-fried chicken head found in a McDonald’s chicken nuggets order in 2000, bullets sneaked into a Costco hot dog in 2004, and even a human finger in a cup of Wendy’s chili, as customers had previously claimed. These make the aforementioned beef lips seem tame in comparison, though in the Wendy’s case, the customer ended up counter-sued by the restaurant for grand larceny.

Know of any other bizarre food controversies to add to Courtney Aguilar’s claim of finding teeth in her barbacoa taco, as well as the aforementioned cases of strange objects found in fast food? And now that you know that they’re edible, would you eat beef lips if you found them in your barbacoa?

[Featured Image by Sean Gallup/Getty Images]