Taco Bell employee fired after photo goes viral

(RNN) – The California Taco Bell employee who posted a photo on Facebook of a fellow employee licking a stack of hard taco shells has been fired, according to a news release from Taco Bell.

The same also goes for the photographed employee, who was seen licking a stack of several Doritos Locos taco shells while in the preparation area of the Ridgecrest, CA restaurant.

Taco Bell calls it "unacceptable" and a violation of "our food handling procedures with a stack of tacos."

The taco shells were being used for training purposes for the promotional tacos, which launched in March. The news release said the shells were about to be thrown out.

"Two employees used them to take a photo for an internal contest in which the company and franchise employees could submit for approval photos of themselves enjoying their first bite of the product," said the news release.

The photo was not submitted to the contest.

"But an employee posted it on a personal social media page, in violation of the franchisee's policies, and it emerged online in social media," the news release said.

Taco Bell says it is currently investigating the incident. They also say that the aforementioned taco shells were not served to customers.

The photo caused everything but a fiesta when Facebook user Jj O'Brien Nolan posted the picture on Taco Bell's page on June 2. "This sure says a lot about your employees, food treatment, and what they post on the internet. Ridgecrest, California," Nolan said, commenting on the picture.

Taco Bell is based in Irvine, CA and is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands. The company that also owns Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut.

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