A photo of a Taco Bell employee licking a stack of taco shells was posted to the company's Facebook page Monday, igniting a firestorm on social media.
"This sure says a lot about your employees, food treatment, and what they post on the internet," user JJ O'Brien Nolan posted on Taco Bell's Facebook page Monday, along with the photo. The employee in the photo has not yet been identified, nor has his relationship to the poster.
The cringe-worthy image sparked a flurry of comments from people who were both disgusted and slightly amused.
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"Will never even consider eating there again
… it also makes me a bit fearful of any fast food joint," one person wrote on Mashable.
"Gaag!! Tongue juice on tacos!! Eeeek!!" another commented.
Taco Bell issued a statement via its Facebook page Monday evening.
"We have strict food handling procedures and zero tolerance for any violations. We believe this is a prank and the food was not served to customers," Taco Bell wrote. "We are conducting an investigation and will be taking swift action against those involved."
This isn't the first time a fast-food worker has come under fire for their treatment of food.
In April, a KFC worker posted photographs of herself licking a pile of mashed potatoes
on Facebook and was promptly fired by her employer, according to the Daily Mail.
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Last year, three Burger King employees from Ohio were fired after images of them standing in two bins full of shredded lettuce were uploaded to their Facebook pages.
And in another Taco Bell public relations nightmare, a worker tweeted a photograph of himself urinating onto a plate of nachos in August last year.
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