The Taco Bell employee who infamously licked a stack of taco shells in a gross viral photo
will soon be fired, the company announced Monday.
"The behavior is unacceptable for people working in a restaurant,"
Taco Bell said Monday in a statement. "Our franchisee is responsible for the employment and conduct of his restaurant's employees and he has informed us that he immediately suspended the employee shown in the photo and is in the process of terminating his employment."
The photo was reportedly taken in March at a California Taco Bell branch and was intended to be a response to a company-wide contest that encouraged employees to submit photos of themselves enjoying the first bite of a new product.
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The picture in question, of an employee licking an entire stack of shells, was never submitted because it violated the guidelines of the contest.
It was instead uploaded to Taco Bell's Facebook page Monday by a "JJ O'Brien Nolan" with the caption, "This sure says a lot about your employees, food treatment, and what they post on the Internet."
The employee has not been identified but user "Andrewkh65" posted a SnapChat photo on social news site Reddit Tuesday of the taco licker's face with "Just got the call. I'm fired,"
written at the bottom.
Taco Bell maintains that the contaminated shells were never served to customers.
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"The taco shells were sent to restaurants for training purposes before the new product launch, so team members could use them to practice making the new product before it became available to the public," a statement read. "These shells were a part of that training, were never intended to be served to customers, and were discarded. This is standard operating procedure, and our franchisee confirmed this protocol."
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